By John M. Giggie
After Redemption fills in a lacking bankruptcy within the heritage of African American existence after freedom. It takes at the greatly missed interval among the top of Reconstruction and global struggle I to check the sacred global of ex-slaves and their descendants dwelling within the quarter extra densely settled than the other by way of blacks residing during this period, the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta. Drawing on a wealthy variety of neighborhood memoirs, newspaper debts, images, early blues song, and lately unearthed Works undertaking management documents, John Giggie demanding situations the traditional view that this period marked the low aspect within the smooth evolution of African-American faith and tradition. Set opposed to a backdrop of escalating racial violence in a area extra densely populated by means of African american citizens than the other on the time, he illuminates how blacks tailored to the defining positive factors of the post-Reconstruction South-- together with the expansion of segregation, educate trip, customer capitalism, and fraternal orders--and within the method dramatically altered their religious rules and associations. Masterfully examining those disparate components, Giggie's research situates the African-American event within the broadest context of southern, non secular, and American heritage and sheds new mild at the complexity of black faith and its position in confronting Jim Crow.
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Additional info for After redemption: Jim Crow and the transformation of African American religion in the Delta, 1875-1915
Ruby Sheppard Hicks wrote of the general sense of alarm that gripped Delta residents during the annual flood season. ‘‘I so well remember the uneasiness in the spring as the northern snows began to melt and rains continued to fall in the South. As the water receded after a flood, that black land dried into crevices that were filled with dead snakes, frogs, snails, worms, tadpoles, leaches and a thousand other germproducing flotsam. ’’36 With the advent of the levees, sustained railroad growth suddenly became more viable.
The CME Church originated in 1870 as an allblack offshoot of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The black Baptist churches were loosely modeled, both theologically and organizationally, on white Baptist 15 After Redemption churches. Their popularity rested largely in their decentralized denominational structure, which allowed local communities a great deal of freedom to form churches, select ministers, and design and implement by-laws. Mindful of the internal diversity of African American religion in the South and the historical tendency to homogenize black churches, I pay particular attention to quarrels between and among these churches over the proper definition of worship, sacred space, spiritual authority, and consumption.
Both races employed identical images to symbolize being saved, such as a train whisking the faithful to heaven or the purchase of a special ticket on a train bound for God’s kingdom. 13 Still, important differences existed that bear witness to the particular ways that African Americans imagined and experienced train travel. These differences help make it possible to think of the railroad as operating in distinctive ways in the evolution of black spiritual life after Reconstruction. During the late 1800s, many white farmers lobbied to force railroads to regulate their rates and pay more taxes.
After redemption: Jim Crow and the transformation of African American religion in the Delta, 1875-1915 by John M. Giggie