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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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Mar 26, 2015

Our Scripture verse for today is Philippians 1:29 which reads: "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake."

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." He said, "While I fully understand how over time the institutional church has come to have the structures and titles it has, it is time to reconsider where we are in light of Scripture. We must critically examine whether we have created the church in our image as opposed to what Jesus Christ intended. The emphasis in Scripture is not on titles, names, or positions, but rather upon service. Let us continually strive to live up to this expectation."

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website, HistoryBABC.com.

Our first topic for today is a continuation of our look at the earliest African states from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin. We are going to look at the West African Coast and European Merchant-Traders.

"The 1591 Moroccan conquest of Songhay had not ended the trans-Saharan trade: the southern terminals had merely shifted eastward to the Hausa states and the Bornu empire. By the early twentieth century, however, when Great me west African Britain, France, and Germany were completing their conquests of West African states, the locus of power in West Africa had long since passed from the savannah kingdoms to forest-belt states located along the Gulf of Guinea to the south..."

Our second topic for today is "The Negro Adapts Christianity to His Experience in the New World, Part 1" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier.

"The Negro slave found in Christianity a theology and a new orientation toward the world at large and in doing so he adapted the Christian religion to his psychological and social needs. One of the best sources of information on the manner in which the Negro adapted Christianity to his peculiar psychological and social needs is to be found in that great body of sacred folk music known as the Negro Spirituals..."

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

We will continue looking at a Comparison of African Slaves with European Immigrants: "Whites who were indentured or contract servants were able to change their condition of living. Owners of White slaves found them more difficult to handle and keep. White slaves could run away and mix with the majority population or settle down in new areas and escape detection. Blacks could not. They had no such control over their destinies..."

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