This article explores the movement of Black Catholic liturgical music across the Black Atlantic, examining the creation in the 1950s of the Missa Luba in Belgian-occupied Congo, its subsequent popularity among Black U.S. Catholics, and the ways in which it inspired Roman Catholic priest Clarence Rivers to compose his own Black American Mass. Rather than seeing the proliferation of “indigenized” African and African American Catholic liturgical music as a response mainly to changes at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, I argue that African and African American people's compositions of liturgical music and their popular reception among Black and white Catholic audiences established a tradition of ethnic resurgence before Vatican II.

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