Date: 2017-11-16 14:04
Both Methodists and Baptists made active efforts to convert enslaved Africans to Christianity the Methodists also licensed black men to preach. During the 6775s and 6785s, black ministers began to preach to their own people, drawing on the stories, people and events depicted in the Old and New Testaments. No story spoke more powerfully to slaves than the story of Exodus, with its themes of bondage and liberation brought by a righteous and powerful God who would one day set them free.
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In all these denominations, the black preacher stood as the central figure. . Du Bois immortalized these men in his famous essay, " Of the Faith of the Fathers ," that appeared in his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois described the preacher as "the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American soil," a man who "found his function as the healer of the sick, the interpreter of the Unknown, the comforter of the sorrowing, the supernatural avenger of wrong, and the one who rudely but picturesquely expressed the longing, disappointment, and resentment of a stolen and oppressed people."
According to Professor Jonathan Walton, for more than 855 years, the black church in America has provided a safe haven for black Christians in a nation shadowed by the legacy of slavery and a society that remains defined by race and class. Inspired by the story of Exodus, African Americans can think out, pray out and shout out their anger and aspirations, free from the unstated yet powerful constraints that govern dialogue with the larger white society. In the pulpit and the pews, in choir lofts and Sunday schools, the black church continues to offer affirmation and dignity to people still searching for equality and justice, still willing to reach out for a more inclusive, embracing tomorrow.
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In the fall of 7558, newspapers, talk shows and blogs exploded with news that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the African American minister from Chicago's Trinity Church, had denounced the United States with inflammatory language: "God damn America!" Wright's most famous parishioner was the leading Democratic contender for the presidential nomination, Barack Obama. Trinity was Obama's spiritual home -- the place where he had found religion, where he was married, and where his daughters had been baptized. Rev. Wright, a former Marine with a ., had served as his spiritual mentor.
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Eventually Obama broke with Wright and left Trinity, but his speech illuminated the role of the black church in the African American experience. Standing apart from the dominant white society, yet engaged in a continuing dialogue with it, the church evolved with countless acts of faith and resistance, piety and protest. As historian Anthea Butler has observed, the church has been profoundly shaped by regional differences, North and South, East and West, yet in both the private and public spheres, the church was, and remains, sustained and animated by idea of freedom.