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Jimmy Washington  New Zion Church in Bardstown, Kentucky  Bishop L.R. Holsey, D.D.  Banner Bible Band, Nashville, Tennessee  Religion So Sweet 
About the The Church in the Southern Black Community

"The Church in the Southern Black Community" traces the way Southern African Americans adopted and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life. The collection includes materials that document white churches' conversion efforts, especially in the post-Revolutionary period, and depicts the tensions and contradictions between the egalitarian potential of evangelical Christianity and the realities of slavery. Through slave narratives and observations by other African American authors, the collection focuses on the way the black community made evangelical Christianity a metaphor for freedom, community, and personal survival. African American women and men, clergy and laypeople tell their stories of churches after Emancipation and churches' sustaining role in the face of disenfranchisement, segregation, and bigotry. This collection also includes early twentieth-century assessments of black scholars on the Church's role in American history and society.

Three historians of Southern religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill advise on the selection of texts: Reginald Hildebrand, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies and History; Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Adjunct Professor of American Studies; and Donald G. Mathews, Professor of History and American Studies. An editorial board of campus scholars, librarians, and publishers guides its development as part of Documenting the American South.

"The Church in the Southern Black Community" is a 1998/99 Award Winner in The Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition.

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