Covenant: Scenes from an African American Church 

Photographs by Tyagan Miller, Essay by Yusef Komunykaa
Indiana University Press; $29.95

Heart- and gut-grabbing in every way, this book both broadens understanding of cycles of life for members of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis and helps the reader reflect on personal faith and spirituality. Miller’s subjects truly subject to the camera with directness and honesty and the photographer, and camera, return the compliment. Most compelling are the children — they are so in the moment you feel the intensity of eyes looking straight at you, through you, in communion with their very being.

The short comments scattered throughout the four sections boil down to this: “I have had some really low points. But I never doubted God.”

Komyunykaa’s opening essay is a brilliant explication of how the church became so intertwined with the vibrant black culture in the place called U.S.A. These 93 photographs, culled from 4,000 taken over four years, are a sharing to treasure time after time.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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