Vale of Tears: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction

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Vale of Tears: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction Edward J. Blum and Scott Poole, Editors. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2005.

With the negation of the political strength used by the Confederacy in its effort to maintain segregation and slavery, the former Southern states endeavored to enlist an even greater Power, established religion, in its effort to maintain control of the emancipated former slaves. All ruses possible were used by the White Establishment: need of the ignorant former slaves to be taught the "right" way to heaven; superior learning and morality of the whites in control; incorporation of the "black brethren" in the existing white order of religion; and finally resortment to a God who demonstrated in the Bible that though they have souls and are members of the human race, blacks are to be kept inferior and subordinate. These characteristics need to be understood fully if the psychology of the post-war South is to be revealed. In his essay, "That Was About Equalization After Freedom" in this volume, Paul Harvey suggests that it is "time now for religious historians to place their stories . …


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