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Download African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness by Milton C. Sernett PDF

By Milton C. Sernett

ISBN-10: 0822324261

ISBN-13: 9780822324263

This widely-heralded selection of outstanding records bargains a view of African American spiritual historical past from Africa and early the US via Reconstruction to the increase of black nationalism, civil rights, and black theology of at the present time. The documents—many of them infrequent, out-of-print, or tough to find—include own narratives, sermons, letters, protest pamphlets, early denominational histories, journalistic bills, and theological statements. during this quantity Olaudah Equiano describes Ibo faith. Lemuel Haynes supplies a black Puritan’s farewell. Nat Turner confesses. Jarena Lee turns into a feminine preacher one of the African Methodists. Frederick Douglass discusses Christianity and slavery. Isaac Lane preaches one of the freedmen. Nannie Helen Burroughs stories at the paintings of Baptist ladies. African Methodist bishops planned at the nice Migration. Bishop C. H. Mason tells of the Pentecostal event. Mahalia Jackson remembers the glory of making a song on the 1963 March on Washington. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes from the Birmingham jail.
initially released in 1985, this accelerated moment version comprises new assets on ladies, African missions, and the nice Migration. Milton C. Sernett presents a normal creation in addition to old context and remark for every document.

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Sample text

If any of us, who have wicked and profane masters, should become religious, how will our estates be changed in another world. Oh, my friends, let me intreat of you to think on these things, and to live as if you believed them to be true. If you become Christians, you will have reason to bless God for ever, that you have been brought into a land where you have heard the gospel, though you have been slaves. If we should ever get to Heaven, we shall find nobody to reproach us for being black, or for being slaves.

Though this eighteenth-century English planter's interpretations of African religious survivals in colonial Jamaica betray his own cultural biases, Edwards accurately records how strongly Jamaican slaves clung to traditional beliefs and practices associated with witchcraft and sorcery. Obeah and myalism had roots among those West African traditions that stressed the dual potential of magicoreligious powers for help or harm. The obeahman or sorcerer practiced negative spiritual medicine. The myalman counteracted with positive spiritual medicine, which came through dancing and possession trances, sometimes referred to as Jamaican Cumina, an ancestral cult.

The myalman counteracted with positive spiritual medicine, which came through dancing and possession trances, sometimes referred to as Jamaican Cumina, an ancestral cult. Though the African gods did not survive by name in Jamaica, as they did in Haitian vaudou, enslaved Africans clung to beliefs in family spirits and "ancestral zombies," sometimes in support of rebellion. The colonial planters and their representatives guarded against the influence of obeahmen, whose charms were said to protect insurgents from the weapons of whites.

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