Fat Luther, Slim Pickin's: A Black Catholic Celebration of Faith, Tradition, and Diversity

Was: $17.95
Now: $14.97
(You save $2.98 )
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Low Stock - 2 items left

Would you like to personalize this item and make it one-of-a-kind?

Save for later


  • Faith sharing & reflections on the liturgical year
  • Humorous, approachable, honest and fun
  • Profiles of holy people and reflection questions by chapter
  • Great for group or individual study
  • Honoring the black Catholic experience

What does musical icon Luther Vandross—and his physical appearance—have to do with appreciating the people and cultures that make up the Catholic Church?

Marcia Lane-McGee and Shannon Wimp Schmidt, hosts of the Plaid Skirts and Basic Black podcast, explain that Christmas celebrations of Black Catholic families are not complete without the annual argument about which version of Luther—fat or skinny—created better music. The light-hearted debate is also about remembering the past and providing hope for the future.

In Fat Luther, Slim Pickin’s, the duo share their faith and reflections on the liturgical year to honor the Black Catholic experience and to help other Catholics understand Black culture. With the humor, vulnerability, honesty, and pop culture references that their podcast is known for, Lane-McGee and Schmidt explore the Church as an important model for how to welcome diversity while maintaining and celebrating culturally distinct traditions and practices.

As our nation continues to confront racism, including within its churches, this ground-breaking book examines the intersection of faith, race, culture, and identity with hopefulness, humor, and joy. Lane-McGee and Schmidt share their experiences as Black women in the Church and invite Catholic women from all walks of life to look with new eyes at the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year through the lens of Black Catholic culture.

The Church is a communion of many cultures, languages, and ethnicities, yet it has been unified for more than two-thousand years. Black Catholics bring unique gifts of culture and history to the Church and the United States that provide an essential perspective on the work for racial justice, a strong framework for addressing the sin of racism, confident guidance for embracing diversity, and a beautiful demonstration of faith infusing even the darkest moments with hope.

In Fat Luther, Slim Pickin’s, you will learn that:

  • You can embrace liturgical celebrations even if they’re a little janky—that is, haphazard and messy—by making do with what you have and focusing on actually doing something and being human rather than doing it perfectly.
  • Soul food epitomizes the genius of Black Americans who can make sustenance even from “slim pickin’s”—the scraps.
  • Ordinary Time offers us a chance to cultivate our “Catholic Shine”—finding beauty in the everyday stuff of life, revealing the mystery of God.
  • As we remember afresh Christ’s suffering on the Cross each Lent we see the parallel to how racism in America can be both history and an ongoing suffering.
  • The laity, especially women, have an important role as the “neck of the Church”—turning the head toward the most urgent needs of our time and working as Christ in the world.

Fat Luther, Slim Pickin’s offers examples of holy people—including Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman, Venerable Fr. Augustus Tolton, St. John XIII, St. Martin De Porres, and St. Joan of Arc—as companions for the liturgical journey. You will also learn more about Black history and experience, and your own faith, through primers on “one drop” laws, appreciation vs. appropriation, Black hair, the legacy of slavery, code switching, and the three-fifths compromise. Reflection questions are included in each chapter, making this book perfect for individual or group study.

Dimensions & Specifications

  • Author: Marcia Lane-McGee, Shannon Wimp Schmidt
  • Pages: 192
  • Format: Paperback
Gift wrapping:
Options available
Ave Maria Press
Created Date:
On Sale:

Fat Luther, Slim Pickin's: A Black Catholic Celebration of Faith, Tradition, and Diversity