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The History of Black Americans and the Black Church

The church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African-American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.
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Jul 17, 2016

Our Scripture verse for today is Colossians 2:9-10 which reads: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." On the matter of Negro spirituals, he quoted W.E.B. DuBois who wrote: “What are these songs, and what do they mean? I know little of music and can say nothing in technical phrase, but I know something of men, and knowing them, I know that these songs are the articulate message of the slave to the world. They tell us in these eager days that life was joyous to the black slave, careless and happy. I can easily believe this of some, of many. But not all the past South, though it rose from the dead, can gainsay the heart-touching witness of these songs. They are the music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.”

Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 6)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.

The Big Business of Slave Trading, continued

During the Seven Years' War England transported more than 10,000 slaves to Cuba and approximately 40,000 to Guadeloupe. By 1788 two-thirds of all slaves brought by England to the New World were sold in foreign colonies. Naturally the planters in the English colonies objected to their competitors in the New World being provided with slaves by British traders. What the planters did not realize, perhaps, was that the slave trade had itself become an important factor in England's economic life. If England's colonies were the foundation of the English economic system, certainly in the eighteenth century the slave trade was an important cornerstone of that system.

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Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 6" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:

--- The Church as an Agency of Social Control, Part 3

There was, of course, moral support for a patriarchal family to be found in the Bible and this fact contributed undoubtedly a holy sanction to the new authority of the Negro man in the family. However, there were more important ways in which the Negro church gave support to Negro family life with the father in a position of authority. As we have pointed out, after Emancipation the Negro had to create a new communal life or become integrated into the communities created by the Negroes who were free before the Civil War. Generally, this resulted in the expansion and complete transformation of these communities. The leaders in creating a new community life were men who with their families worked land or began to buy land or worked as skilled artisans.

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Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 6 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"

--- THE BAPTISTS (Continued)

Obviously, the ministers who established these local Baptist assemblies were for the most part unlettered. There was no hierarchy or centralized authority. Each church was its own sovereign body; there was not then and is not now any such thing as the "Baptist Church." This lack of centralization meant that the Baptists were initially not nearly as strong and influential as the better organized AME Church. Nonetheless, with freedom came the organization of larger Baptist bodies or conventions.

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