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

By Deidre Helen Crumbley | Go to book overview

NOTES

Chapter 1. Call

1. The saints have cooperated with this research project on condition that I not use the real names of the church, its leaders, and its members. The saints are neither rich nor powerful in material terms; many are working poor, and many elders barely survive on Social Security. Still, they know themselves to be children of the Most High God, who deserve the good things in life, not least of which is respect for their privacy.

2. I stand within the intellectual tradition of vindicationism that arose as an intellectual critique of both the racist assumptions undergirding turn-of-the-century academic theories of social and cultural evolution and the racist caricatures of Black people that pervaded popular culture at that time (Drake 1987: xvi–xviii, 1–6, 85–86, 92, 100).

3. Enslaved Blacks escaped and established at least fifty maroon communities between 1672 and 1864 in mountainous, forested, or swampy regions of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama (Sayers 2006; Orser 1998; Aptheker 1939: 167). Up to 100,000 slaves, about one-fifth of the population of enslaved Africans and African Americans at the outbreak of the American Revolution, were willing to be moved to Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sierra Leone after gaining their freedom in exchange for joining or assisting British troops (Sanneh 1999: 12, 33). Before the Civil War, thousands of men and women escaped slavery, fleeing north and then to Canada (Whitfield 2006: 18–20) as well as south to Spanish-controlled Florida, where they developed liaisons with native people. Still, before the Civil War most Black migration was forced, disrupting thousands of enslaved families when husbands, wives, or children were “sold down the river” or relocated west during the rapid expansion of the Cotton Kingdom (Baptist 2002: 9–11, 18–23, 30–31).

4. February 20, 2011, http://www.chicagosuperads.com/real_estate_Classifieds/C580A 826554P1/Wanted_Store_Front_for_Church_Services.

5. Since enslaved Africans represented a captive audience for Christian mission, why was this opportunity to Christianize hundreds of thousands of “pagan” souls bypassed? Slave owners feared that conversion might require manumission of their human property, even after a 1667 Maryland law guaranteed “that the conferring of baptisme doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom” (quoted in Scherer 1975: 30; see also Frazier 1963: 26; Raboteau 1978: 48, 80, 86–87, 96, 98–99, 113; Lewis 1996: 19). Ethical ambivalence is also exemplified by nineteenth-century Presbyterians determining that slavery was a “moral evil,” but not all slave owners were guilty of a moral sin (Baer and Singer 1992: 5; Scherer 1975: 134–36). This ethical schizophrenia was bolstered by the financial dependence of clergy on slaveholding laity and their assimilation within slaveholding culture;

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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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