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The Black Church in the African American Experience Paperback – November 7, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0822310730 ISBN-10: 0822310732 Edition: First Edition
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is a comprehensive resource book developed from a ten-year field study that investigated the black church as it relates to the history of African Americans and to contemporary black culture. The information listed is a powerful and extremely useful tool in giving researchers an in-depth look into the church's relationships to politics, economics, women (attitudes of clergy as pastors), youth, music, civil rights, and trends for the next century. The study contains an extensive bibliography. Highly readable, well written, and researched, this book is a necessary purchase for scholars and specialists in the field. Unfortunately, the cost may limit its audience to them alone.
- Gayle Leach, Wayne State Univ., Detroit
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 519 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; First Edition edition (November 7, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822310732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822310730
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the history and sociology of the black church. It is written from an academic perspective, but -- refreshingly -- is free of academic jargon, and is accessible to the journalist, church member or student. It was written in 1990, so its research is now a bit dated. Nevertheless, it is a comprehensive and thorough introduction to the the major black denominations: the National Baptists, African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Church of God in Christ, etc. It includes such useful information as a denomination's policies on women, politics and church hierarchy. I would eagerly await a new, updated edition.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aki N. Gibson on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
The particular cultural and historical context of the United States has created a unique experience for African-American Christians, resulting in certain dialectical tensions that prevent a simplified analysis of such a diverse body of believers. From the climate of several centuries of slavery, the period of Jim Crow segregation, and the Civil Rights movement, an indigenous African American culture emerged joining elements from Africa, Europe, and the United States to express a multi-dimensional witness to the nation and world (p. 200). The impetus for black spiritual and ecclesiastical independence was not initially grounded in religious doctrine or polity, but rather in the reaction to segregation in the churches and inconsistencies between the teaching and expression of the Christian faith (p. 47). Many black slaves became Christians as a result of the Second Great Awakening, which began in the frontier states, and then spread to southern plantations through circuit riders and clerical itinerants (p. 228). Other than the family, the Black Church existed at this time as one of the main social institutions for African Americans, and thus assumed significant roles and burdens that distinguished it from other American churches (p. 201). The rural church not only provided "the womb" for many of the distinctive features of the "black folk" religious experience (styles of preaching, shouting and falling out, spirituals and gospel music, and enthusiastic antiphonal audience responses), but also helped blacks survive the dehumanization of slavery by providing an economic and educational uplift after the Civil War, and by serving as major political centers for slave rebellions, civil rights protests, and the mobilization of the black vote (p. 111).Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Knarvia H. Smith, on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Research for article and presentation on the history of the Black church. This book was used as part of my task of compiling information to address our children, youth and adult;, during the one month our country set aside as, "Black History", month.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yasmeen St. Clair on January 5, 2013
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I recommend this to anyone wanting to know more, historically and contemporarily, about African American religion. It is befitting for students in high school to graduate school. I thought about selling my books after using them, but this one I will definitely hold on to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book was new and in great condition. The price was amazing and provided me with everything I needed for my class. What could I possibly say that's negative about an item that arrived on time, and gave me what I needed? No complaints here! Thank you again Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mariam on March 2, 2013
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This is a good book and it was good quality and I think it is an essential part of American and World history oft overlooked
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wmcbharrison on May 30, 2014
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I used this book for a class I was taking and will use it again during my studies this Fall. Very informative!
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The Black Church in the African American Experience
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