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  • Preface to the Second Edition ix

    Introduction 1

    I. From Africa Through Early America

    1. Traditional Ibo Religion and Culture / Olaudah Equiano 13

    2. African Religions in Colonial Jamaica / Bryan Edwards 20

    3. Slave Conversion on the Carolina Frontier / Francis Le Jau 25

    4. "Address to the Negroes in the State of New York" / Jupiter Hammon 34

    5. Letters from Pioneer Black Baptists / George Liele and Andrew Bryan 44

    6. A Black Puritan's Farewell / Lemuel Haynes 52

    II. Slave Religions in the Antebellum South

    7. Plantation Churches: Visible and Invisible / Peter Randolph 63

    8. "Proud of the 'Ole Time' Religion" / Sister Kelly 69

    9. Conjuration and Witchcraft / Henry Bibb 76

    10. "Great Moral Dilemma" / James W.C. Pennington 81

    11. Religion and Slave Insurrection / Nat Turner 89

    12. Slaveholding Religion and the Christianity of Christ / Frederick Douglass 102

    13. Slave Songs and Spirituals / Thomas Wentworth Higginson 112

    III. Black Churches North of Slavery and the Freedom Struggle

    14. "Life Experience and Gospel Labors" / Richard Allen 139

    15. Rise of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church / Christopher Rush 155

    16. A Female Preacher among the African Methodists / Jarena Lee 164

    17. African Baptists Celebrate Emancipation in New York State / Nathaniel Paul 185

    18. "Our Wretchedness in Consequence of the Preachers of Religion" / David Walker 193

    19. "Mrs. Stewart's Farewell Address to Her Friends in the City of Boston" / Maria Stewart 202

    20. "To the Citizens of New York" / Peter Williams 211

    21. Black Churches in New York City, 1840 / Charles B. Ray 218

    22. Protesting the "Negro Pew" / Jeremiah Asher 224

    23. "I Will Not Live a Slave" / Jermain W. Loguen 228

    24. "Welcome to the Ransomed" / Daniel Alexander Payne 232

    IV. Freedom's Time of Trial: 1865-World War I

    25. From Slave to Preacher among the Freedmen / Isaac lane 245

    26. "The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church" / Lucius H. Holsey 252

    27. Black Religion in the Post-Reconstruction South / William Wells Brown 256

    28. "Education in the A.M.E. Church" / Daniel Alexander Payne 261

    29. The Travail of a Female Colored Evangelist / Amanda Smith 270

    30. "The Regeneration of Africa" / Alexander Crummell 282

    31. Emigration to Africa / Henry McNeal Turner 289

    32. The First African American Catholic Congress, 1889 / African American Catholics 296

    33. 1899 Presidential Address to the National Baptist Convention / Elias C. Morris 301

    34. Bishop C.H. Mason, Church of God in Christ / Elsie W. Mason 314

    35. "Of the Faith of the Fathers" / W.E.B. Dubois 325

    36. "The Race Problem in a Christian State, 1906" / Reverdy C. Ransom 337

    37. "What Induced Me to Build a School in the Rural District" / Rosa Young 347

    V. From the Great Migration to World war II

    38. Address on the Great Migration / African Methodist Episcopal Council of Bishops 359

    39. "Dear Mary" and "My dear Sister" / Letters on the Second Exodus 364

    40. Social Work at Olivet Baptist Church / S. Mattie Fisher and Mrs. Jessie Mapp 368

    41. Effects of Urbanization on Religious Life / Lacy Kirk Williams 372

    42. Report of the Work of Baptist Women / Nannie H. Burroughs 376

    43. Address to the Suehn Industrial Mission, Liberia / Jasper C. Caston 403

    A Letter from the "Foreign Field" / Lula E. Cooper 410

    44. "Things of the Spirit" / Carter G. Woodson 415

    45. "The Genius of the Negro Church" / Benjamin E. Mays and Joseph W. Nicholson 423

    46. "The Churches of Bronzeville" / St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Clayton 435

    VI. Twentieth-Century Religious Alternatives

    47. Garvey Tells His Own Story / Marcus Garvey 453

    48. "Organized Religion and the Cults" / Miles Mark Fischer 464

    49. Black Judaism in Harlem / Rabbi Matthew 473

    50. "The Realness of God, to you-wards..." / Father Divine 478

    51. Elder Lucy Smith / Herbert Morrisohn Smith 487

    52. "Self-Government in the New World" / Wallace D. Muhammad 499

    VII. CIvil Rights, Black Theology, and Beyond

    53. "National Baptist Philosophy of Civil Rights" / Joseph H. Jackson 511

    54. "Letter from Birmingham Jail--April 16, 1963" / Martin Luther King, Jr. 519

    55. Singing of Good Tidings and Freedom /Mahalia Jackson 536

    56. "The Anatomy of Segregation and Ground of Hope" / Howard Thurman 548

    57. "Black Power" Statement, July 31, 1966, and "Black Theology" Statement, June 13, 1969 555

    58. "Black Theology and the Black Church: Where Do We Go From Here?" / James H. Cone 567

    59. "The Black Churches: A New Agenda" / Lawrence N. Jones 580

    Index 589
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  • Description

    This widely-heralded collection of remarkable documents offers a view of African American religious history from Africa and early America through Reconstruction to the rise of black nationalism, civil rights, and black theology of today. The documents—many of them rare, out-of-print, or difficult to find—include personal narratives, sermons, letters, protest pamphlets, early denominational histories, journalistic accounts, and theological statements. In this volume Olaudah Equiano describes Ibo religion. Lemuel Haynes gives a black Puritan’s farewell. Nat Turner confesses. Jarena Lee becomes a female preacher among the African Methodists. Frederick Douglass discusses Christianity and slavery. Isaac Lane preaches among the freedmen. Nannie Helen Burroughs reports on the work of Baptist women. African Methodist bishops deliberate on the Great Migration. Bishop C. H. Mason tells of the Pentecostal experience. Mahalia Jackson recalls the glory of singing at the 1963 March on Washington. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes from the Birmingham jail.
    Originally published in 1985, this expanded second edition includes new sources on women, African missions, and the Great Migration. Milton C. Sernett provides a general introduction as well as historical context and comment for each document.

    About The Author(s)

    Milton C. Sernett is Professor of African-American studies at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books, including Bound for the Promised Land, also published by Duke University Press.

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