Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation: African American Slaves by Daniel L. Fountain

By Daniel L. Fountain

In the course of the Civil warfare, conventional historical past tells us, Afro-Christianity proved a powerful strength for slaves' perseverance and desire of deliverance. In Slavery, Civil warfare, and Salvation, although, Daniel Fountain increases the prospect that Afro-Christianity performed a less important position in the antebellum slave neighborhood than such a lot students at the moment assert. Bolstering his argument with a quantitative survey of non secular habit and WPA slave narratives, Fountain offers a brand new timeline for the African American conversion event. either the survey and the narratives display that fewer than forty percentage of people who gave a datable conversion adventure had turn into Christians sooner than buying freedom. Fountain pairs the survey effects with an in-depth exam of the stumbling blocks in the slaves' spiritual panorama that made conversion tougher if no longer altogether not going, together with rare entry to spiritual guide, the inconsistent Christian message provided to slaves, and the slaves' evolving spiritual identification. moreover, he presents different attainable reasons for ideals that at the floor resembled Christianity yet in reality adhered to conventional African religions. Fountain continues that in basic terms after emancipation and the achievement of the expected Christian deliverance did African american citizens extra always flip to Christianity. Freedom, Fountain contends, introduced such a lot former slaves into the Christian religion. Provocative and enlightening, Slavery, Civil conflict, and Salvation redefines the function of Christianity in the slave neighborhood.

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Extra info for Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation: African American Slaves and Christianity, 1830-1870 (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)

Sample text

And had a conversation with him about the state of his soul. ” Likewise, Alice Green of Georgia resisted her mother and sisters’ pleas to become a Christian until she was free and over seventy years old. Ed McCree and Joe Rollins proved even more resistant to the Christian message. McCree told WPA interviewers that “I ain’t never jined up wid no church. ” Likewise, Rollins exclaimed that “[a]ll what wants to ought to have ’ligion. ” While identifying the forces that created such resistance to Christianity is important, for the purposes of this discussion it is sufficient to say that the presence of a strong Christian core within the slave population did not translate into anything approaching universal acceptance of their beliefs or participation in their activities.

Unquestionably, city dwelling increased the possibility for slave conversion regardless of the sex in question. However, neither setting altered the women’s position as the most likely sex to convert. Both urban and rural women led their male counterparts in conversion percentage by significant margins. Whether a slave was more likely to live in a rural or an urban environment depended on his or her location, in the Upper or Lower South. Table 7 presents this statistical evidence and summarizes its influence on conversion.

Only 8 of the slaves within the Children category are below the age of 8. As described in the conversion criteria, all of these are individuals who claimed conversion before reaching their eighth birthday. Therefore, 109 of the 117 individuals in the Children category were at least eight years of age while enslaved. 8 of the slaves surveyed. 06 of the data. Individuals without specific age classification fall into two additional categories. The category Child-Youth represents slaves whose ages fall somewhere between 1 and 18, while Youth-Adult designates those slaves who were either older teenagers or young adults.

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