Paul Harvey illustrates how black Christian traditions provided theological, institutional, and personal strategies for cultural survival during bondage and into an era of partial freedom. At the same time, he covers the ongoing tug-of-war between themes of "respectability" versus practices derived from an African heritage; the adoption of Christianity by the majority; and the critique of the adoption of the "white man's religion" from the eighteenth century to the present. The book also covers internal cultural, gendered, and class divisions in churches that attracted congregants of widely disparate educational levels, incomes, and worship styles.
Paul Harvey is professor of history at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is the author of Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities Among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925 and Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era.
Introduction: Themes in African American Religious History Chapter 1: Middle Passage for the Gods: African and African American Religions from the Middle Passage to the Great Awakening Chapter 2: The Birth of Afro-Christianity in the Slave Quarters and the Urban North, 1740-1831 Chapter 3: Through the Night: African American Religion in the Antebellum Era Chapter 4: Day of Jubilee: Black Churches from Emancipation to the Era of Jim Crow Chapter 5: Jesus on the Mainline: Black Christianity from the Great Migration through World War II Chapter 6: Freedom's Main Line: Black Christianity, Civil Rights, and Religious Pluralism Epilogue: Righteous Anger and Visionary Dreams: Contemporary Black Politics, Religion, and Culture Documents Bibliographic Essay