Saved and Sanctified: The Rise of a Storefront Church in Great Migration Philadelphia

By Deidre Helen Crumbley | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are books that lure you into writing them. They give you no rest until their story is told. This is one of those books. It drew me into the academy to gain the intellectual grounding and professional credentials required to tell the story of The Church in a manner that would command serious scholarly attention. Still, it could never have been written without the generous cooperation of the saints who gave of their time, shared their personal lives, and offered me more hospitality than I will ever be able to reciprocate. Their love and prayers are greatly appreciated.

While the physical act of writing is a solitary act, a book grows out of communications with mentors, colleagues, and the works of intellectual ancestors. Although the work of some ancestral scholars ground this book project, they are yet to enter the canons of anthropological literature. The most notable example is Zora Neale Hurston’s The Sanctified Church (1981), which has been recognized more for its literary value than as an anthropological study. Happily, still among us is Ira Harrison, author of the first institutional analysis of storefront churches that I encountered; the richness of his archival materials, combined with the intellectual dynamism of Faye Harrison, produced the groundbreaking edited compilation African American Pioneers in Anthropology (1999), which reinserted scholars of African descent into the intellectual history of our discipline. Melvin Williams’s Community in a Black Pentecostal Church: An Anthropological Study (1974) paved the way for my book project, because of his strong message that an urban storefront church of African American “saints” demands the serious intellectual attention that anthropologists have given religious phenomena from around the world since James Frazier’s The Golden Bough. I am also indebted to Caribbeanist and humanistic anthropologist John O. Stewart for his course African American Anthropology, which he taught at Northwestern University in a way that validated the transnational study of the African

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Saved and Sanctified: The Rise of a Storefront Church in Great Migration Philadelphia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Call 1
  • 2 - City Tales 29
  • 3 - Saints Tales 49
  • 4 - Becoming Saints 107
  • 5 - Family 139
  • 6 - Response 165
  • Notes 175
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 201
  • The History of African American Religions 212
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