How Can Poverty Enslave Us To Affect Our Spirituality? (Solution found)

Why is spiritual poverty so difficult to solve?

  • Spiritual poverty is much more difficult to remedy. It is pathological, rooted in a loss of faith in the purpose and meaning of life itself. We do not need a government which thinks it knows what is best for us, and so turns citizens into wards of the state.

How is poverty related to religion?

A study conducted in the United States (Hunt, 2002) showed that “religious factors” have a significant influence on the assumed causes of poverty and whether this is explained as “individualistic”, “structuralist” or “fatalistic”.

What is religious poverty?

1. The state of being poor; lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts. 2. Deficiency in amount; scantiness: “the poverty of feeling that reduced her soul” (Scott Turow).

How did religion play a role in slavery?

Religion as justification Religion was also a driving force during slavery in the Americas. Once they arrived at their new locales the enslaved Africans were subjected to various processes to make them more compliant, and Christianity formed part of this.

Does religion has a significant role in our present society?

Given this approach, Durkheim proposed that religion has three major functions in society: it provides social cohesion to help maintain social solidarity through shared rituals and beliefs, social control to enforce religious-based morals and norms to help maintain conformity and control in society, and it offers

What is the relationship between religion and spirituality?

Religion is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality is more of an individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose. It also relates to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others.

What are the negative effects of poverty?

Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and underresourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.

What does the Bible say about poverty?

“ Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

What causes poverty according to the Bible?

The biblical model of Christopher J. H. Wright. Wright classifies the causes of poverty to be natural causes, laziness, and oppression (Wright, 2004: 169–71). He explains natural causes to be “the result of living in a fallen world in which things go wrong for no reason” (2004: 169).

What is poverty according to Bible?

In the New Testament there are four terms that refer to poverty: ptochos, penes, endees and penichros. (1) The term ptochos refers to poverty in its most literal sense, and actually indicates those who are extremely poor and destitute, to the point of begging, thus implying a continuous state (Louw & Nida 1988:564).

What was African religion before Christianity?

Polytheism was widespreaded in most of ancient African and other regions of the world, before the introduction of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. An exception was the short-lived monotheistic religion created by Pharaoh Akhenaten, who made it mandatory to pray to his personal god Aton (see Atenism).

What religion did slaves practice?

The slaves brought a wide variety of religious traditions with them including tribal shamanism and Islam. Beyond that, tribal traditions could vary to a high degree across the African continent.

How did the slaves resist slavery?

Many resisted slavery in a variety of ways, differing in intensity and methodology. Among the less obvious methods of resistance were actions such as feigning illness, working slowly, producing shoddy work, and misplacing or damaging tools and equipment.

What are the functions of religion in developing the spiritual self?

These functions are discussed below in brief:

  • Religion as an Integrative Force:
  • Creating a Moral Community:
  • Religion as Social Control:
  • Provides Rites of Passage:
  • Religion as Emotional Support:
  • Religion Serves a Means to Provide Answers to Ultimate Questions:
  • Religion as a Source of Identity:

How does religion affect you in your daily life?

People who engage in religious activities have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than people who are non-religious. They also cope with stress better. In fact some religious activities, such as prayer or meditation, can reshape the brain for the better.

How does religion have an impact on society?

It improves health, learning, economic well-being, self-control, self-esteem, and empathy. It reduces the incidence of social pathologies, such as out-of-wedlock births, crime, delinquency, drug and alcohol addiction, health problems, anxieties, and prejudices.

The spiritual resistance of African peoples to enslavement and forced immigration

The 4th of February, 2019 Angelique Walker-Smith contributed to this article.

This year’s Black History Month will be particularly remarkable since we will be commemorating the Quad-Centennial of the arrival of our Angolan ancestors in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619.

Contrary to common belief, African and African descendent people fought their enslavement and forced immigration to distant lands such as the United States and other European countries. It was only through their faith and feeling of moral outrage—both bolstered by God’s love and mercy—that they were able to stay alive. During the summer of 1619, following the end of the Angolan war of resistance, 350 enslaved Angolans were stolen of their liberty. Their belongings were loaded onto the ship, the San Juan Bautista, which was heading for the port of Vera Cruz, on the Mexican coast.

In the course of its voyage, the ship was assaulted by two English ship privateers: the White Lion and the Treasurer.

“ The two privateers then proceeded to Virginia, where the White Lion landed in Point Comfort, or what is now known as Hampton, Virginia, at the end of August, according to historical records.

and odd Negroes” had been “purchased for victuals,” according to the Jamestown Rediscovery group, which preserves the history of the settlement.

During the period 1619-1704, documents demonstrate that Africans battled and resisted the spread of slavery, particularly through the courts.” This Black History Month, we are invited to celebrate the tenacity of African people and their descendants while also acknowledging how the practice and policy of slavery resulted in policies and practices that are still rooted in racism and exacerbate realities such as malnutrition and hunger today.

  1. Nutrition is a key but often overlooked component of hunger, and this month, Bread for the World is highlighting the efforts of Black leaders who are supporting it.
  2. On Bread’s website, we will also post stories throughout February about the significance of nutrition in the fight against hunger, and we will highlight the efforts of Pan-African leaders who are doing their part to champion nutrition.
  3. Please join us in continuing the vital work of exposing racism that is still prevalent in our policies and practices, as well as celebrating the dedication of Pan-African leaders who are championing for excellent nutrition, which will aid in the eradication of hunger.
  4. This year’s Black History Month will be particularly remarkable since we will be commemorating the Quad-Centennial of the arrival of our Angolan ancestors in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619.

Toolsfrom our Resource Library

Regardless of gender, nationality, location of residence, sex, race, religious affiliation, or any other category, human rights are rights that all human beings are endowed with by their Creator. As a result, human rights are non-discriminatory, which means that they apply to all human beings and cannot be denied to any of them on any basis. It goes without saying that, while all humans have the right to protection under the law, not all humans have the same experience of these protections everywhere around the world.

There are many different types of human rights, such as:

  • The right to life, liberty, and security are civil rights
  • Political rights are political rights (such as the right to be protected by the law and to be treated equally before the law)
  • And economic and social rights are civil rights. Economic rights (including the right to work, the right to own property, and the right to receive fair compensation)
  • Social rights (such as the right to an education and the right to marry with permission)
  • Cultural rights (such as the ability to freely engage in their cultural community), as well as collective rights (such as the right to self-determination) are all protected under international law.

Slavery is a Violation of Human Rights

Slavery, forced labor, and human trafficking are all considered abuses of human rights since they deprive human beings of their inalienable human rights. In reality, slavery is specifically included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 4: “No one shall be kept in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be forbidden in all their forms.” Slavers and people traffickers commit grave violations of human rights because they assert ownership, labor, and/or the humanity of another human being over another human being.

The following are the human rights that are most important to trafficking:

  • It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race, color, sex (gender), language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin (including birthplace), or any other status
  • The right to life
  • The right to liberty and security
  • The right not to be subjected to slavery, servitude, forced work, or bonded labor
  • And the right not to be subjected to bonded labor. Torture and other cruel, brutal, degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited under international humanitarian law. It is everyone’s right to be free of gendered violence
  • The right to form and participate in associations
  • Freedom of movement is guaranteed under international treaties. Physical and mental health should be maintained at the best level possible. The right to labor under fair and beneficial terms of employment
  • The right to a decent quality of life
  • The right to social security
  • And the right of children to particular protection are all rights that must be protected.

Human Rights for Women and Girls

The advancement of women and girls is a major concern of many organizations and governments across the world. Per the International Labor Organization, 11.4 million women and girls are victims of forced labor in various forms, including debt bondage, trafficking, and forced prostitution (among others). As world leaders work to enhance the status of women and girls, it is vital that they concentrate their efforts on reducing the exploitation of women and girls via forced labor, human trafficking, and slavery.

  • The advancement of women and girls is a major concern of many organizations and governments throughout the globe. According to the International Labor Organization, 11.4 million women and girls are victims of forced labor in various forms — including debt bondage, trafficking, and forced prostitution – every year. Efforts to enhance the status of women and girls must be directed on reducing women and girls’ exploitation in forced labor, trafficking, and slavery as part of a worldwide effort to do so. In the event that women and girls are enslaved or trafficked, they do not have access to programs that promote gender equality and development.

Why the Enslaved Adopted the Religion of Their Masters—and Transformed It

Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! “The Resurrection has demonstrated its power; there are Christians everywhere—even in Rome,” says the author. In his classic work, The Epistle to the Romans, Karl Barth, a prominent Swiss theologian, characterized the conversion of the Roman Christians in this manner. That is, the resurrection of Jesus Christ had demonstrated its actuality since there were Christians in Rome, the capital of the cruel empire under whose power Jesus had been killed, and that was definitely sufficient reason for gratitude and trust in the resurrection of Jesus.

  • Even the sheer fact that the slaves were able to “cling on” to Jesus, as it were, is a narrative of the Resurrection’s power in our day and age.
  • said in their book, “The Genesis of Liberation,” that “it is a miracle in and of itself.” You don’t have to look any farther than the “Christ” who was introduced to them in order to witness the miracle.
  • This was not a neutral experience in any way.
  • They were plainly anointed and commissioned by him, not for the ministry of reconciliation, but for the “ministry of subjugation,” as he put it.
  • The reason behind this remains a mystery.
You might be interested:  How To Care For Patients Even When You Differ In Spirituality?

The simple response given by Powery and Sadler is that “they fell in love with the God of the Scriptures.In Christ, they discovered forgiveness from their sins and reconciliation with their Creator.” They come to the conclusion that, while this was clearly sufficient, there was more to the solution.

  • They also discovered Jesus, a suffering Savior whose life and tribulations were eerily similar to their own problems.
  • It was only after they realized that the Bible does not devalue African identity that they were able utilize it to root their humanity, to subversively contradict biblically based racist readings, and to confirm their right to be free and operate as equals in this country.
  • As historians Sylvia Frey and Betty Wood put it, “it built a community of religion and.
  • The Black Reformation of 1736 was a period of political upheaval.
  • However, this raises the question of whether or not it can be referred to as a “reformation.” According to author Juan Williams, this is really possible.
  • Moreover, their trailblazing was so extensive that it “reformed Christian theology,” as well as Christianity itself, according to him.
  • However, even though the process had already begun, it was in St.


She would go down in history as not just the “Mother of Modern Missions,” but also the “Mother of the Black Reformation,” among other titles.

Born a slave in 1718 on the island of Antigua and kidnapped at a young age, she was converted to Christianity when she was a young lady.

Protten, according to Freidrich Martin, a Moravian missionary, had carried out “the work of the Savior through teaching.

Rebecca’s Revival, written by Jon Sensbach, describes how she would travel “daily through rocky routes into the hills in the sweltering afternoons after the slaves had returned from the farms,” according to Sensbach.

“She was a prophet, committed to bring what she believed to be the Bible’s freeing grace to individuals of African origin,” according to her biographer.

It was during her travels that she “arrived in the slave quarters, located deep within the island’s plantation heartland, where she preached redemption to the domestic servants, cane boilers, weavers, and cotton pickers whose bodies and spirits were stripped-mined every day by enslavement.” As she and others spread the gospel from plantation to plantation, “St.

  1. Because of the message of freeing grace, they “placed themselves at the vanguard of an indigenous black movement that was born in the slave quarters,” according to the New York Times.
  2. in some degree from those early roots.” Two women and two men were able to embody the Reformation spirit in their own way.
  3. After being born into slavery in 1760, Richard Allen rose through the ranks to become a major American reformer, authoring a slew of anti-slavery tracts that would serve as models for many generations to come.
  4. His nickname was “The Apostle of Freedom” according to another.
  5. Among others who would be inspired by his life were pioneering abolitionist Frederick Douglass, well-known abolitionist David Walker, and brilliant sociologist W.
  6. B.
  7. Allen “found religion” and converted to Methodism when he was seventeen years old.

Throughout the day, he would begin and conclude with prayer.

In the words of one biographer, “The Lord sought out young Richard Allen, a slave, and Allen swore to be the Lord’s undying servant.” Allen became a member of St.

Unfortunately, in 1787, racial tensions amongst members of the church of St.

Segregated seating was introduced at the church one morning when people were attending services.

Allen and the black members of the congregation walked out and created what would later become Bethel A.M.E.

In addition to fighting for the advancement of the gospel, this ministry would also fight for racial justice in America, serve as a home for the kindness of African American people, and serve as a church that supports missions in numerous places across the world.

If Rebecca Protten is referred to as the “Mother of the Black Reformation,” then Bishop Richard Allen is unquestionably the “Father of the Black Reformation.” As though in the spirit of Mary, Jarena Lee and the Black Reformation are brought together.

In recent years, less emphasis has been placed on the vital role played by black women, notably the itinerant female preachers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and other black churches, in helping to develop what we now know as black Christianity.

Thomas via Protten, a person like to Protten rose to prominence in the United States: Jarena Lee.

The speech during a worship session at Bethel Church, which was founded by Allen, had such an impact on her that she decided to become a Christian as a result.

Because of the church’s male-dominated character, this did not sit well with the congregation.

But that did not deter women from following their hearts’ desires.

“Did not Mary preach the risen Savior first?” she said in defense of her ministry.

As fate would have it, in 1819, a guest preacher became dissatisfied with his lecture and abruptly halted his speech delivery.

The crowd was clearly astonished by the pastor’s loss of words.

Previously, he had expressed reservations about allowing women to speak from the pulpit, but on that particular day, he changed his mind.

This was the time of the Black Reformation.

With these compelling testimonies, it is clear that the Resurrection has demonstrated its power; Christians may be found everywhere, including among African Americans.

This reality not only influenced their thinking, but it also influenced their way of life.

When Protten navigated the rugged roads of the island of Antigua, she had no idea that her life would serve as a spark for Sojourner Truth.

When Allen made the decision to walk out of the dark clouds of segregation and into the bright sunlight of racial justice, his life would serve as a spark for the young Martin Luther King Jr., who would follow in his footsteps.

They were the forefathers of what we now refer to as black Christianity.

It was this religious belief that provided African Americans with the reasons they used to oppose the religion of the slaveholders.

Individual black people, according to author Juan Williams, “put on a cloak of faith, an unshakable trust that God would carry them through slavery and raise them up to freedom.” Their transformation into “Christian warriors, marching for an end to segregation and the promise of equality as God’s children.

It would be beneficial for us to not only listen to these stories from the past, but also to allow them to alter us in the present.

Dante Stewart is currently enrolled as a student at Reformed Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

In addition to being a student athlete at Clemson, he holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the same institution. Jeremy and his wife, Jasamine, currently reside in Augusta, Georgia, where he is a Bible instructor at Heritage Academy Augusta.

Summary Objective 12

Discussions will take place about the spiritual beliefs and customs of enslaved people, including their nature, tenacity, and effect. Schematic diagrams of the key concepts 5, 6, and 910

What else should my students know?

Across all of Europe’s colonies, including what is now the United States, white colonists prevented enslaved people from practicing their own spiritual beliefs, and they compelled them to become Christians. While religion was frequently used as a weapon of oppression and cultural extinction, it could also be used as a means of resistance in some circumstances. Enslaved people all across the world have reinterpreted the Christian message of God’s love and the promise of eternal life as a means of expressing their own longing for freedom in this world and the next.

  1. In order to maintain their indigenous ideas and traditions, many enslaved African and Indigenous people adopted Christian ceremonies as weapons of resistance.
  2. These new religious expressions continue to flourish throughout what is now known as the United States of America.
  3. 12.D There are more than 573 independent Native American tribes in what is now the United States of America.
  4. 12.E Slaved Africans were responsible for the creation of two of America’s most lasting musical forms: spirituals and blues.

How can I teach this?

  • Identifying and dismantling stereotypical representations, generalizations, and appropriations is critical when educating about Indigenous cultural endurance, resilience, and impact. One of the best introductions to recognizing and addressing common myths and preconceptions about Indigenous people is provided by an article from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. In 1991, a building effort in New York City revealed the African Burial Ground, a colonial cemetery that had been hidden for centuries. Evidence of African burial customs, such as the burying of ceremonial artifacts with the deceased, may be found in the remains of the people buried there. Some early advertising for Indigenous persons who escaped slavery specifically mention their cultural or geographic heritage, demonstrating that enslaved Indigenous people fought assimilation and resisted assimilation. For example, some people refer to “Carolina Indians,” while others say that many enslaved Africans were Muslims. In the Library of Congress’s collection are records written by and about Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved scholar from West Africa who lived during the Middle Ages. His autobiography, which was initially written in Arabic, is included in this collection. An English translation, a podcast episode, discussion questions, and his obituary are among the several extra materials available. Spirituals provide a plethora of opportunities for investigation in a variety of areas, including topic matter, poetic style, cultural significance, and current interpretation. There are several variations available on the internet. An extensive collection of spirituals demonstrates the link between Christian references and imagery and the yearning for emancipation from servitude. “Hold the Wind” and “We’ll Soon Be Free” are two songs that come to mind as suitable examples. There are numerous online collections of enslaved African Americans’ music, including recordings of free people singing and playing music they learned while enslaved, that can be found at the Library of Congress
  • ” Run, Mary, Run ” was a popular spiritual that incorporated African traditions of drumming and syncopation with a message of freedom
  • In a little video clip, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, of Learning for Justice, explores the manner in which the cultural traditions of enslaved Africans have survived and continue to affect others. Unsurprisingly, many non-Indigenous individuals have preconceived notions and assumptions regarding the music of Indigenous people. A 1977Folklifearticleprovides a solid, if a little antiquated, starting point for researching these topics
  • Investigate the ways in which Indigenous people have influenced current music through the films Rumble and Sounds of Faith, both directed by Lumbee filmmaker Malinda Maynor Lowery. Students might watch the MTV documentary Rebel Music to learn about modern Indigenous music
  • They could also read about it. Br’er Rabbit folktales are instances of stories that arose among the enslaved African people as a means of teaching survival techniques to enslaved children. The Br’er Rabbit folktales are a collection of stories that have been collected over time. Keep in mind that when investigating these stories, you should use collections such as Jump! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, which avoid the racism of earlier collections by white folklorists
  • The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, which avoid the racism of prior compilations by white folklorists
  • The methods in which Indigenous people maintain and create cultural traditions and practices are a subject of much study and speculation. Some subjects might include current Indigenous artists and people who are trying to preserve indigenous languages, to name a few. Many commonly consumed delicacies have their origins in enslaved populations. Gumbo demonstrates how indigenous, African, and European cultures have intertwined at times. One traditional component of this cuisine is an Indigenous ingredient known as filé, which is a powder derived from sassafras leaves and used in the preparation of the dish. We get the word “gumbo” from a West African word for okra, which is another key ingredient in this dish. The French provided flour, which is utilized in the preparation of the gumbo’s dark roux. Barbeque (which derives from the Arawak wordbarbacoa, which means “barbecue sauce with African spices”) developed out of the culture of Indigenous and African enslaved people as a way to flavor the less-desirable cuts of pork that enslavers provided as rations with smoke and sauces flavored with African spices. Slavery and the culinary history of the American South are topics that historian Michael Twitty has written about in easily understandable essays. In Indigenous tribes, such as the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, southern cuisine is also a manifestation of this mix
  • When it comes to teaching about Indigenous oral traditions and customs, the Minnesota Department of Education’s Department of Indian Education is an outstanding resource
  • Enslaved persons were exposed to a variety of Christian interpretations, including Bibles that had been edited by their captors. WPA Slave Narratives have several testimonials regarding how enslavers and white preachers attempted to simplify the Christian doctrine down to “Don’t lie, and don’t steal,” among other things. Some chronicles also describe enslaved Christians’ emphatic rejection of this particular type of Christianity
  • However, this is not always the case. In Peter Randolph’s ” Sketches of Slave Life,” he provides instances of the many ways in which enslavers attempted to influence the message of Christianity.
  • Identifying and dismantling preconceptions, generalizations, and appropriations is critical when educating about Indigenous cultural persistence, resilience, and impact. One of the best introductions to recognizing and addressing common myths and preconceptions about Indigenous people can be found in an essay from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. The African Burial Ground in New York City, a colonial cemetery, was discovered in 1991 during a building job. Aspects of African burial practices, such as the interment of ceremonial artifacts with the deceased, may be observed in the bodies interred there. A number of early advertising for Indigenous persons who escaped slavery specifically mention their cultural or geographic heritage, providing proof that enslaved Indigenous people resisted assimilation and remained independent. Many enslaved Africans were Muslims, as described by some, for example, “Carolina Indians.” Library of Congress has acquired materials by and about Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved scholar from West Africa, and has made them available for public viewing. His autobiography, which was initially written in Arabic, is included in this collection. An English translation, a podcast episode, discussion questions, and his obituary are just a few of the many supplementary resources available. Singing spirituals provides a rich source of research in a variety of areas including topic matter, poetic style, historical significance, and modern interpretations. Online, you may find a plethora of variations. The link between Christian references and imagery and the yearning for release from servitude is illustrated in a number of spirituals. “Hold the Wind” and “We’ll Soon Be Free” are two songs that come to mind as excellent examples. ” Run, Mary, Run ” was a popular spiritual that incorporated African traditions of drumming and syncopation with a message of freedom
  • The Library of Congress has a number of online collections that include the music of enslaved African Americans, including recordings of free people singing and playing music that they learned while enslaved
  • A little movie demonstrates Professor Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, who is affiliated with Learning for Justice, examines how enslaved Africans’ cultural traditions survive and continue to affect others. There are many misunderstandings and preconceptions concerning Indigenous music that exist among non-Indigenous individuals. In this regard, a 1977Folklifearticleprovides an excellent, albeit rather antiquated, starting point: Investigate the ways in which Indigenous people have influenced current music through the films Rumble and Sound of Faith, both directed by Lumbee director Malinda Maynor Lowery
  • And Students might view the MTV documentary Rebel Music to learn about modern Indigenous music. Br’er Rabbit folktales are instances of stories that arose among the enslaved African people as a method to teach survival techniques to enslaved children. The Br’er Rabbit folktales are a collection of stories that have been collected over time. It is important to use collections such as Jump! while examining these stories. The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, which avoid the racism of prior collections by white folklorists
  • The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, which avoid the racism of earlier compilations by white folklorists The methods in which Indigenous people maintain and create cultural traditions and practices are a subject of much study and investigation. The work of modern Indigenous artists and those trying to preserve languages are just a few examples of possible subjects. Slave societies were the source of many popular cuisines. In Gumbo, you can see how indigenous, African, and European cultures have occasionally come together. Sassafras leaves are used to make filé, an indigenous ingredient used in this cuisine that has been around for hundreds of years. We get the name “gumbo” from a West African word for okra, which is another vital element in this dish. The French provided flour, which is needed to make the dark roux that is utilized in gumbo. In the tradition of Indigenous and African enslaved people, barbeque developed as a technique to flavor less-desirable slices of pig that were given as rations by enslavers using smoke and sauces made with African spices. Barbeque is derived from the Arawak wordbarbacoa, which means “barbecued meat.” Slavery and the culinary history of the American South are topics covered by historian Michael Twitty in numerous easily digestible pieces. In Indigenous tribes, such as the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, southern cuisine is an example of this fusion as well. Among the outstanding resources for teaching about Indigenous oral traditions and customs is the Department of Indian Education of the Minnesota Department of Education. The Bibles that enslaved persons met varied in their religious beliefs, including Bibles that had been edited by their captors. There are several testimony in the ” WPA Slave Narratives ” regarding how enslavers and white pastors attempted to limit the Christian message to “Don’t lie, don’t steal.” A strong rejection of this form of Christianity is also seen in certain accounts written by imprisoned Christians
  • However, this is not always the case. Examples of how enslavers attempted to restrict Christianity’s message may be found in Peter Randolph’s ” Sketches of Slave Life.”
You might be interested:  What Is Meant When Indigenous Spirituality Is Described As A Lifeway? (Best solution)

To return to the 6-12 Framework Page, click here.

Slave Religion, African American Community during Slavery, African American Identity: Vol. I, 1500-1865, Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature, Toolbox Library, National Humanities Center

3. ReligionConsider this section Part II of Plantation Community (the previous section in this Theme), because African Americans’ spiritual beliefs and practices were a core element of the worlds they created for themselves within the strictures of the white man’s plantation. “Blacks fortunate enough to be settled in sizable groups on contiguous plantations or farms,” writes historian Colin A. Palmer, “could interact with one another and forge a common culture with core beliefs and assumptions. Such an environment enhanced the process of beoming black American while simultaneously fostering the retention of much of their Africanity.”1The question remains among scholars—how much of African spiritual belief and practice was retained in African American religious life? Probably less than among the enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and Latin America where there were more slaves per plantation than in the British Atlantic colonies, and more of those slaves were African-born. “Nevertheless,” concludes historian Albert J. Raboteau, “even as the gods of Africa gave way to the God of Christianity, the African heritage of singing, dancing, spirit possession, and magic continued to influence Afro-American spirituals, ring shouts, and folk beliefs. That this was so is evidence of the slaves’ ability not only to adapt to new context but to do so creatively.”2The narratives, interview excerpts, songs, and illustrations presented here represent this “creative adaptibility” in the religious practice of antebellum African Americans, enslaved and free.
  1. Alternatively, you may return to the 6-12 Framework Page
  • What kind of church did the slaves attend on your plantation? Did they read the Bible? Who was your favorite preacher, and what was his name? Spirituals that you enjoy listening to
  • – Provide the following information about the baptizing: Songs for baptism. Do you believe in voodoo? – What are your thoughts on funerals and funeral songs?
  1. Because of the nature of the questions, as well as the fact that the respondents were slaves from the 1820s until 1865, their replies are predominantly concerned with Christian practices and principles (except when addressing the inquiry about voodoo). What kinds of comments might you expect to see in the bulk of the excerpts? What patterns do you see
  2. Religious music sung by slaves. As soon as the Civil War ended, the book Slave Songs of the United States was published, which contained a collection of 136 religious and secular songs written by enslaved African Americans. It was compiled primarily by three white northerners who had traveled to the South Carolina sea islands in 1862-63 to work with newly freed African Americans. There are songs in the collection that have been documented by the three editors as well as others from around the Confederate South. The six religious songs offered here stress the strengthening of the community tie among those who are enslaved as a result of singing. A total of four songs were performed during “the breaking up of a meeting,” two songs were sung at meetings for the dead, and two songs were written to convey the longing for liberation (with coded lyrics to keep their meaning hidden from slave-holders)
  3. The “religion of the south” and slavery. In 1857 and 1861, white people argued about whether slavery was incompatible with Christian principles, but African Americans unanimously believed that slavery was a contradiction in a Christian society, as we can see in these narratives by Frederick Douglas, Harriet Jacobs, Austin Steward, and William J. Anderson, all of which were published between 1857 and 1861. In the words of Harriet Jacobs, “there is a tremendous distinction between Christianity and religion in the South.” Frederick Douglass describes it as “the broadest, imaginable gap—so wide, that to accept the one as good, pure and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as ill,” corrupt, and wicked.” A Muslim who has been enslaved. The Muslim religion was practiced by around 10 percent of the enslaved Africans carried to the Americas. Omar ibn Said was a well-educated Muslim who was born about 1770 in Futa Toro (now Senegal), abducted at the age of 37, and transported to South Carolina for sale. Despite the fact that he converted to Christianity, his pastor (and later academics) came to the conclusion that he retained his Muslim religion throughout his lifetime. Origins of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is his brief autobiography from 1831, which is provided here in its entirety. According to founder Rev. Richard Allen’s narrative, published posthumously in 1833, the events that compelled freemen in Philadelphia to establish an independent black church in 1794 and later the first organized black denomination—the African Methodist Episcopal Church—in 1816 are described in detail.

Along with the discussion questions below, you should also explore the questions in2, Plantation Community, as you learn about the vast range of African American religious practices that existed before independence. (There are 22 pages total.) Questions for further discussion

  1. I’m curious about the sources of strength and identity that African Americans, both enslaved and free, were able to achieve via their religious beliefs and practice. What was the most effective way for religious practices to convey adoration of the divine? Efforts to achieve freedom? White authority is being challenged? Are you experiencing personal despair? a sense of belonging
  2. What kind of religious expression is authorized and concealed in the WPA tales, and where do you find it? What was the difference between them
  3. Describe the activities of slaveholders (connected to religious practice) that are lauded and criticized by the former slaves as told in the tales. What causes some former slaves to admire what others despise? The ways in which Christianity, as it was packaged for the oppressed, encouraged them to understand their enslavement are discussed. Is it possible to identify the kind of community relationships that are highlighted in the six religious songs from Slave Songs of the United States? I was wondering whether you were familiar with these tunes. Include a summary of the religious practices of enslaved African Americans that are Christian, Muslim, and “voodoo” in these readings
  4. What do they have to say about the community manifestation of religious belief when they are all put together? What kind of merging of religious beliefs and practices do you notice in these readings? The writers’ explanations for the merging to themselves and to others are important. I’m curious on what the blendings say about the religious practices of any enslaved people. What was the process through which free blacks sought religious independence in the northern states? What actions did they take as a result of their conviction that slavery was incompatible with the values of a Christian nation
  5. The narratives of Frederick Douglass, Richard Allen, and Omar ibn Said were written for a variety of different audiences. What strategies did they use to craft their messaging for their target audiences
  6. Is there anything new we can learn about Islam in pre-Civil War America from Omar ibn Said’s memoir? what do you think about the sentiments of white southerners against Islam? on the Islamic affiliation of Omar ibn Said
  7. What was it about Richard Allen’s new black church that convinced him that it should stay Methodist and not associate with another Christian denomination? Who would agree with him and who would disagree with him among the other black Christians in this section? Because of this, and in what ways, did enslaved and free African Americans seek religious practice according to their own terms rather than those of white slaveholders or church officials? What dangers did this entail, and how did white people react to the wide range of African American religious beliefs and practices were all discussed. What is the source of the discrepancies in their replies
  8. And Create discussions in which these former slaves can debate their diverse points of view on the following subjects:
Topic 19th-c. narratives 20th-c. narratives (WPA)
Variety of religious practices Omar ibn Said and Robert ShepherdWilliam Adams
Christianity of the enslaved Austin Steward and Anthony DawsonLitt Young
Christianity of slaveholders Frederick Douglass and Sarah DouglasJames Southall
Christianity of slaveholders Harriet Jacobs and Millie EvansEmma Tidwell
Religious practices: 7(WPA narratives)
Religious songs: 3(Slave Songs of the United States, 1867)
“Religion of the South”: 4(19th-century slave narratives)
An enslaved Muslim: 4(Omar ibn Said memoir)
A.M.E. Church: 4(Richard Allen memoir)
TOTAL 22 pages
Supplemental SitesAfrican American Religion, history and teaching guidance, by Prof. Laurie Maff-Kipp, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; in Divining America (TeacherServe®), from the National Humanities CenterThis Far by Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys(WGBH/PBS)Religion, primary texts and resources, in Slavery and the Making of America (WNET/PBS)Hidden Objects: The Spiritual World of Slaves, in Slavery and the Making of America (WNET/PBS)The Black Church, documents in Africans in America (WGBH/PBS)Historians� commentary on religion and slavery, in Africans in America (WGBH/PBS)Texts and Guides in Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library
  • In this collection, you can find The Church in the Southern Black Community. Autobiography of Omar ibn Said, written in 1831 and published in 1925 after being translated from the original Arabic
  • -From the book Slave Songs of the United States, by W. H. Auden. A. Allen and colleagues, 1867
  • -Richard Allen, The Life, Experience, and Gospel Labors of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Richard Allen was born in 1833. -Dr. William L. Andrews of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Introduction to the North American Slave Narratives (18th-19th century)
African Methodist Episcopal Church, historical overview, from Religious Movements, University of VirginiaRichard Allen, biography in Africans in America (WGBH/PBS)Richard Allen and African American Identity, essay by Dr. James Henretta, in Archiving Early AmericaOn slavery in a Christian nation, narrative excerpts, from American Experience (PBS)Islam in America: From African Slaves to Malcolm X, essay by Dr. Thomas Tweed, in Divining America: Religion in American History, National Humanities CenterOmar Ibn Sayyid, overview, timeline, and images from Sayyid’s Bible, from Davidson College LibraryOmar ibn Said, overview and Arabic writings, from the North Carolina Museum of History”Owning Omar,”The Boston Phoenix, 6 July 1998, on the discovery, sale, and renewed research of Omar ibn Said’s original manuscriptWPA Slave Narratives, 1930s, full text in digital images, Library of CongressAn Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives, Norman R. Yetman (Library of Congress)”Should the Slave Narrative Collection Be Used?,”Norman R. Yetman (Library of Congress)Guidelines for Interviewersin Federal Writers’ Project (WPA) on conducting and recording interviews with former slaves, 1937(PDF)General Resourcesin African American HistoryLiterature, 1500-1865

1Colin A. Palmer,Passageways: An Interpretive History of Black America, Vol. I: 1619-1863 (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group, 2002), p. 158.2Albert J. Raboteau,Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South(New York: Oxford University Press, 1978, updated ed., 2004), p. 92.Images:- Praise house reflecting Gullah traditions with origins in African culture, on the Mary Jenkins plantation, St. Helena Island, South Carolina, 1995. Rev. Henderson was the pastor of the praise house.Julia Cart Photography, South Carolina. Reproduced by permission of Julia Cart.- Prayers (Muslim and Christian), written by Omar ibn Said (detail of page). Davidson College Library. Permission pending. – Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, engraving, 1804. Library Company of Philadelphia. Permission pending.- “Goodbye,” music transcription (detail), in W. F. Allen, C. P. Ware, and L. M. Garrison, eds.,Slave Songs of the United States, 1867.Courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.*PDF file- You will need software on your computer that allows you to read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this software, you maydownload it FREEfrom Adobe’s Web site.

Antebellum slavery

By 1830 slavery was primarily located in the South, where it existed in many different forms.African Americans were enslaved on small farms, large plantations, in cities and towns, inside homes, out in the fields, and in industry and transportation. Though slavery had such a wide variety of faces, the underlying concepts were always the same.Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence – actual or threatened.People, black and white, lived together within these parameters, and their lives together took many forms.Enslaved African Americans could never forget their status as property, no matter how well their owners treated them.But it would be too simplistic to say that all masters and slaves hated each other.Human beings who live and work together are bound to form relationships of some kind, and some masters and slaves genuinely cared for each other.But the caring was tempered and limited by the power imbalance under which it grew.Within the narrow confines of slavery, human relationships ran the gamut from compassionate to contemptuous.But the masters and slaves never approached equality.The standard image of Southern slavery is that of a large plantation with hundreds of slaves.In fact, such situations were rare.Fully 3/4 of Southern whites did not even own slaves; of those who did, 88% owned twenty or fewer.

Whites who did not own slaves were primarily yeoman farmers.

Cotton was by far the leading cash crop, but slaves also raised rice, corn, sugarcane, and tobacco.Many plantations raised several different kinds of crops.Besides planting and harvesting, there were numerous other types of labor required on plantations and farms.Enslaved people had to clear new land, dig ditches, cut and haul wood, slaughter livestock, and make repairs to buildings and tools.

They lived in crude quarters that left them vulnerable to bad weather and disease.Their clothing and bedding were minimal as well.Slaves who worked as domestics sometimes fared better, getting the castoff clothing of their masters or having easier access to food stores.The heat and humidity of the South created health problems for everyone living there.However, the health of plantation slaves was far worse than that of whites.Unsanitary conditions, inadequate nutrition and unrelenting hard labor made slaves highly susceptible to disease.Illnesses were generally not treated adequately, and slaves were often forced to work even when sick.

The rice plantations were the most deadly.Black people had to stand in water for hours at a time in the sweltering sun.Malaria was rampant.Child mortality was extremely high on these plantations, generally around 66%- on one rice plantation it was as high as 90%.One of the worst conditions that enslaved people had to live under was the constant threat of sale.Even if their master was “benevolent,” slaves knew that a financial loss or another personal crisis could lead them to the auction block.Also, slaves were sometimes sold as a form of punishment.And although popular sentiment (as well as the economic self-interest on the part of the owners) encouraged keeping mothers and children and sometimes fathers together, these norms were not always followed.Immediate families were often separated.If they were kept together, they were almost always sold away from their extended families.Grandparents, sisters, brothers, and cousins could all find themselves forcibly scattered, never to see each other again.Even if they or their loved ones were never sold, slaves had to live with the constant threat that they could be.African American women had to endure the threat and the practice of sexual exploitation.There were no safeguards to protect them from being sexually stalked, harassed, or raped, or to be used as long-term concubines by masters and overseers.The abuse was widespread, as the men with authority took advantage of their situation.

Even if a woman seemed agreeable to the situation, in reality she had no choice.

Slaves were even sometimes murdered.Some masters were more “benevolent” than others, and punished less often or severely.But with rare exceptions, the authoritarian relationship remained firm even in those circumstances.In addition to the authority practiced on individual plantations, slaves throughout the South had to live under a set of laws called the Slave Codes.The codes varied slightly from state to state, but the basic idea was the same: the slaves were considered property, not people, and were treated as such.Slaves could not testify in court against a white, make contracts, leave the plantation without permission, strike a white (even in self-defense), buy and sell goods, own firearms, gather without a white present, possess any anti-slavery literature, or visit the homes of whites or free blacks.The killing of a slave was almost never regarded as murder, and the rape of slave women was treated as a form of trespassing.Whenever there was a slave insurrection, or even the rumor of one, the laws became even tighter.At all times, patrols were set up to enforce the codes.These patrols were similar to militias and were made up of white men who were obligated to serve for aset period.The patrols apprehended slaves outside of plantations, and they raided homes and any type of gathering, searching for anything that might lead to insurrection.During times of insurrection – either real or rumored – enraged whites formed vigilance committees that terrorized, tortured, and killed blacks.While most slaves were concentrated on the plantations, there were many slaves living in urban areas or working in rural industry.Although over 90% of American slaves lived in rural areas, slaves made up at least 20% of the populations of most Southern cities.In Charleston, South Carolina, slaves and free blacks outnumbered whites.Many slaves living in cities worked as domestics, but others worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, bakers, or other tradespeople.Often, slaves were hired out by their masters, for a day or up to several years.Sometimes slaves were allowed to hire themselves out.

Urban slaves had more freedom of movement than plantation slaves and generally had greater opportunities for learning.

Subtly or overtly, enslaved African Americans found ways to sabotage the system in which they lived.Thousands of slaves ran away.

Others formed maroon communities in mountains, forests or swamps.

(For one white interpretation of slave resistance, see Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race)Even when slaves acted in a subservient manner, they were often practicing a type of resistance.By fooling the master or overseer with their behavior, they resisted additional ill treatment.Enslaved African Americans also resisted by forming community within the plantation setting.This was a tremendous undertaking for people whose lives were ruled by domination and forced labor.Slaves married, had children, and worked hard to keep their families together.In their quarters they were able to let down the masks they had to wear for whites.There, black men, women, and children developed an underground culture through which they affirmed their humanity.They gathered in the evenings to tell stories, sing, and make secret plans.House servants would come down from the “big house” and give news of the master and mistress, or keep people laughing with their imitations of the whites.It was in their quarters that many enslaved people developed and passed down skills which allowed them to supplement their poor diet and inadequate medical care with hunting, fishing, gathering wild food, and herbal medicines.There, the adults taught their children how to hide their feelings to escape punishment and to be skeptical of anything a white person said.Many slave parents told their children that blacks were superior to white people, who were lazy and incapable of running things properly.Many slaves turned to religion for inspiration and solace.Some practiced African religions, including Islam, others practiced Christianity.Many practiced a brand of Christianity which included strong African elements.Most rejected the Christianity of their masters, which justified slavery.

The slaves held their own meetings in secret, where they spoke of the New Testament promises of the day of reckoning and of justice and a better life after death, as well as the Old Testament story of Moses leading his people out of slavery in Egypt.The religion of enslaved African Americans helped them resist the degredation of bondage.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *