Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching/Maria Stewart, the Bible and the Rights of African Americans/Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genuis in Bondage/Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible

By Gundersen, Joan R. | Anglican and Episcopal History, December 2015 | Go to article overview

Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching/Maria Stewart, the Bible and the Rights of African Americans/Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genuis in Bondage/Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible


Gundersen, Joan R., Anglican and Episcopal History


Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching/Maria Stewart, the Bible and the Rights of African Americans/Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genuis in Bondage/Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible

Armstrong, Julie Buckner. Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2011, Pp. 255. $69.95); Valerie C. Cooper, Maria Stewart, the Bible and the Rights of African Americans (Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2011, Pp. 209. $39,50); Vincent Caretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2011, Pp. 279. $31.50); Katherine Clay Bassard, Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2010, Pp. 166. $44.95.)

Reading these four books was challenging in both positive and negative ways. In various ways each author challenges the reader to come to terms with the racism embedded deeply in American culture and religion. The authors also challenge the readers to look at old and marginalized texts in a new light and see how black women struggled to find a voice and transcend the double bonds of race and sex. Unfortunately, the works also were challenging because they revealed the difficulty of having the breadth of knowledge in multiple fields required by interdisciplinary history. Further the four works provide a challenge to scholars of the Episcopal Church to engage a larger audience so that the history and traditions of the Episcopal Church are part of the scholarly conversation beyond the comfortable walls of our own denomination. Three of the books reviewed suffered from a lack of knowledge about the Episcopal Church. It is up to scholars of the church to make our work so relevant that it cannot be ignored.

In Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching, Julie Buckner Armstrong traces how the 1918 lynching of eight-month-pregnant Mary Turner and the killing of the infant cut from her body was reported, interpreted, and transformed in the hands of activists, writers, and artists over time. Walter White, sent to Georgia by the NAACP to investigate a week-long lynching spree that killed at least eleven blacks, including Mary. He used her death as a way of highlighting both the horror of lynching and to counter the myth that lynching was a justifiable defense of white women's honor. Mary's story was then picked up by African American women writers, poets, and sculptors who struggled to express their horror without transgressing cultural standards for women. Anti-lynching activists continued to refer to her death (but not her name) for generations. In the 1980s feminists and black activists turned a new eye on Mary Turner and on lynching. Now a black history wax museum features her death; Georgians organize memorial re-enactments of her death; and finally after much negotiation, Georgia placed a historical marker at the site of her death.

Only a few Episcopalians appear in this book, notably activist and poet Anne Spencer, but the book's documentation of a white community that could erase these events from memory, and literally not understand how the same landscape carried a very different meaning for the blacks in their community is a teachable moment in understanding the power of white privilege and institutional racism. But Lowndes County, where this lynching took place, is indelibly associated with the civil rights movement, and with the death of Episcopal seminarian, Jonathan Daniels. One cannot help wondering how Lowndes County Episcopalians have been affected by multiple generations of racial violence.

When Maria Stewart began lecturing in 1831 on the rights of African Americans and women, she was a true pioneer. Valerie Cooper looks at Stewart's speeches to explore the theological and religious grounding of this black woman's calls for justice. Cooper uses the introduction to introduce her use of current scholarly perspectives from literature and theology that she uses throughout the book, but gives the reader little in the way of historical context. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching/Maria Stewart, the Bible and the Rights of African Americans/Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genuis in Bondage/Transforming Scriptures: African American Women Writers and the Bible
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.