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Righteous Discontent: The Women's Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920 Paperback – April 14, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0674769786 ISBN-10: 0674769783

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Righteous Discontent: The Women's Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920 + Looking for God in the Suburbs: The Religion of the American Dream and its Critics, 1945-1965 + Joseph Smith (Penguin Lives)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 14, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674769783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674769786
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Examining the black church as the domain not only of religious expression but also of the emerging "pursuit of a black collective will and identity," Higginbotham (history, Univ. of Pennsylvania) analyzes the contributions of African American women between 1880 and 1920. Her work addresses a neglected area by clearly documenting the lives of women whose vision, sacrifice, faith, and intelligence served the poor and built schools, promoted self-help, and shaped the forces that would challenge racial and gender subordination. In her account of the women's interaction with black men in pressing for racial equality and with Northern white Baptist women in championing gender equality, Higginbotham insightfully interprets complex gender, race, and class issues, enhancing this book's value to scholars as well as lay readers interested in feminism, racial politics, and church history. Highly recommended.
- Cynthia Widmer, Downingtown, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

If the period was so important for women but simultaneously a low point for black Americans as a group, then how should we understand the apparently contradictory politics of that time? Righteous Discontent accentuates the positive, finding in the contradiction 'a creative tension that both motivated and empowered black women to speak out.' Ms. Higginbotham moves beyond the dichotomous thinking that has often short-circuited our attempts to understand the situation of black women...An important, sophisticated, and richly instructive book. (Suzanne Lebsock New York Times Book Review)

Higginbotham's book is populated with fascinating and accomplished women...[Her] research is impeccable and her work both ambitious and important. Righteous Discontent contributes significantly to the still underappreciated history of the black church in America. (Adele Logan Alexander Washington Post Book World)

Higginbotham has pioneered a study of a long-neglected component of the African-American experience. This book is a powerful and compelling story of the religious life of African-American women and their resistance to racism and sexism. Through Higginbotham's work, the voices of African-American women, which have remained silent too long, emerge distinct and bold. (Jill Watts Journal of American History)

A landmark contribution to American religious history. (Choice)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham asserts that southern black women, through their participation in the National Baptist Convention fostered agency, activism, women's rights and racial dignity during the post-Reconstruction era of Jim Crow. Intrisic to her thesis is that while black women utilized the Baptist church as a support stucture against racism and poverty, they also worked to raise the status of the black race as a whole and black women specifically. One of the most important insights in this book, is an in-depth analyiztion of the feminization of religion. However,while Higginbotham's thesis is stong and engaging, altering the hereto academic focus away from prominent black Baptist activists to a wider, regional phenomenom of group participation, ultimatley her study contains a few theoretical holes. There is little critical analysis of the opposition that black women faced in their endevores, such as the creation the Womens Convention, a subsiderary of the larger National Baptist Convention. Also, there is no sense of the black "masses," consistantly refered to as such, that these women tried to help. "Masses," in this case indicates a monolith rather than an increasingly diversified group of people. Ellaboration on both of these points would have greatly improved the complexity of Higginbotham's study, as well as left the reader a great deal more informed. Over all, Righteous Discontent is a valuable source for anyone seeking information on race, gender and relgion at the turn of the century. Higginbotham's treatment of the subject is tactful and engaging, uncovering a little known but important facet of African American history.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karim Walker on May 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Evelyn Higginbotham shows us that this is not a man's world anymore with her book on the role of women the Black Baptist Church. Her writing is fluid and detaied, and she provides various examples to illustrate her points. This is the definitive text for learning about the roles that the Black Baptist church in African-American society.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. R. A. Jones on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is very interesting Because it from the women's in the church

this is something christian should have in their libaray.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
If I could give this book zero stars, I would. Higginbotham is not the feminist scholar she once was, and her writing needs more perspective. The book suggests that she's spent too long in the ivory tower. Too much post-modern psycho-babble in this volume.
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