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An Exhibition Trembles with Black Spiritualities

Allison Conner reviews Bridge Project's current exhibition, Otherwise/Revival, for

LOS ANGELES — On April 9, 1906, Reverend William J. Seymour held a prayer meeting at Richard Ashbury’s home on Bonnie Brae Street in downtown Los Angeles. For days he had been preaching about how baptism in the Holy Spirit allowed for direct experiences with the divine, as evidenced by the ability to speak in tongues. Although some criticized his teachings as heretical nonsense, his meetings attracted large crowds that cut across racial, class, gender, and age barriers. Eventually, the Reverend and his believers moved to a larger building on Azusa Street, where revivals — gatherings that aid in an individual’s spiritual reawakening after a period of moral neglect — occurred over the next three years....

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