For every bustling jazz joint that opened in Korean War–era Harlem, a new church seemed to spring up. Tambourines to Glory introduces you to an unlikely team behind a church whose rock was the curb at 126th and Lenox. Essie Belle Johnson and Laura Reed live in adjoining tenement flats, adrift on public relief. Essie wants to somehow earn enough money to reunite with her daughter and provide her with a nice home; Laura loves young men, mink coats, and fine Scotch. On a day of inspiration, the friends decide to use a thrift-store tambourine and a layaway Bible to start a church.


Langston Hughes


Willa Bost
Karen Davis
Alexandra Foucard
Keith A. Hale
Ebony Jo-Ann

Jordan Minter
Eric Moore
Margo Moorer
Kevyn Morrow
Eugene H Russell IV
Laparee Young