Forty-two percent of U.S. black women have never been married, double the women, including several of Marchand's single friends who live in Atlanta. "I just feel there is a lot of taboo that is associated with dating black.
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- HIV and Older Americans
- Key Events in Black Higher Education
- NCBI - WWW Error Blocked Diagnostic
- A Black Dating Site with a Difference
They wrote for religious periodicals, promoting Victorian ideals of respectability and womanhood. Like the crusading newspaper reporter Ida B. Wells, they protested racial injustice, lynching and violence. Among the most influential women was Nannie Burroughs, who served as corresponding secretary of the Woman's Convention of the National Baptist Convention, U. In a major address to the NBC delivered in , Burroughs chastised black ministers:.
We might as well be frank and face the truth. While we have hundreds of superior men in the pulpits, North and South, East and West, the majority of our religious leaders have preached too much Heaven and too little practical Christian living. In many, the spirit of greed, like the horse-leach, is ever crying, "Give me, give me, give me.
Men, she argued, must welcome women into the affairs of government. Women must organize and educate. Burroughs rose to prominence during the period known as the "Great Migration. This influx of Southerners transformed Northern black Protestant churches and created what historian Wallace Best calls a "new sacred order.
Accustomed to a more emotional style of worship, Southerners imbued churches with a "folk" religious sensibility.
The distinctive Southern musical idiom known as "the blues" evolved into gospel music. The themes of exile and deliverance influenced the theological orientation of the churches. Women filled the pews; in Chicago, 70 percent of churchgoers were women. Responding to the immediate material and psychological needs of new congregants, black churches undertook social service programs.
Few ministers were more aware of the impact of the Great Migration than the Rev. Lacey K. In an essay published in the Chicago Sunday Tribune in , Williams argued that black churches must respond to the practical and spiritual needs of people struggling to adjust to urban life; the churches must be "passionately human, but no less divine. Olivet Church became the largest African American church -- and the largest Protestant church -- in the entire nation.
In the South, rural immigrants poured into major cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham, where they contributed to established congregations and encouraged the growth of new ones.
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But in rural areas, churches struggled to cope with the weakening social structure that had once sustained them. Ministers were not always educated. But it was the lay members -- deacons, ushers, choirs, song leaders, Sunday school teachers and "mothers" of the congregation -- who gave the churches their vitality and strength. Church socials, Sunday picnics, Bible study and praise meetings encouraged social cohesion, heightened a sense of community and nurtured hope in the face of discrimination and violence. By the s, the infrastructure of black churches and the moral resilience they encouraged had laid the foundation for the crusade that would transform the political and religious landscape of America: the civil rights movement.
For more than years, blacks had struggled against racial inequality, racial violence and social injustice. By the mids, resistance coalesced into concrete plans for action, spurred in part by the brutal murder of year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi. In September , a photo of Till's mutilated and battered body lying in an open casket aroused anger and deep revulsion among blacks and whites, both in the North and South. Three months after his death, a seamstress named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Ala.
She was arrested and fined. Soon after, ministers and lay leaders gathered to decide on their course of action: a boycott of the Montgomery buses. They also decided to form an association, the Montgomery Improvement Association, and chose as their spokesman the newly appointed year-old minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr. The son and grandson of ministers, King had grown up in his father's Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In his first speech he clearly defined the religious and moral dimensions of the movement:.
We are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, then the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong …. King continued as the principal spokesman for the boycott. Behind the scenes, Jo Ann Robinson and E. Nixon managed the protest and kept it going.
The boycott lasted more than a year. In , a federal ruling struck down the Montgomery ordinance; the Supreme Court of the United States later affirmed this decision. Two years later, King and other black ministers formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC , with the goal of organizing anti-segregation efforts in other communities in the South. Walker, a Baptist.
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Civil rights activist Ella Baker served as the group's executive secretary; King was elected president and declared that the goal of the movement was "to save the soul of the nation. As with emancipation, the civil rights crusade was sustained by the Exodus story. As congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis observes: "Slavery was our Egypt, segregation was our Egypt, discrimination was our Egypt, and so during the height of the civil rights movement it was not unusual for people to be singing, 'Go down Moses way on down in Egypt land and tell Pharaoh to let my people go.
Churches played a pivotal role in protests. In crowded basements and cramped offices, plans were made, strategies formulated, people assembled.
Key Events in Black Higher Education
Decades of providing social services now paid off in organized political protest. Marches took on the characteristics of religious services, with prayers, short sermons and songs. But not all churches joined the civil rights movement. As historian Barbara Savage has shown, most pastors and congregations were reluctant to defy the status quo. Jackson, the conservative leader of the venerable National Baptist Convention and pastor of Chicago's Olivet Baptist Church, was staunchly opposed to King's tactics as he affirmed the rule of law.
Like Thurgood Marshall and the leadership of the NAACP, he believed that civil disobedience, mass protests and any other efforts that put African Americans in conflict with the powers that be would compromise their efforts toward equality via the courts. Like Booker T. Washington, he was convinced that it was the responsibility of black people to prove their economic value and social worth to the dominant society by modeling morality, entrepreneurialism and citizenship.
Tensions finally split the National Baptist Convention, U. But not all those prepared to fight for civil rights subscribed to King's strategy of nonviolence. King himself seemed reluctant to risk arrest. But under pressure, he participated in a march in Birmingham that he knew would land him in jail. A group of white ministers sent a letter criticizing his actions.
King replied with "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a profound reflection upon Christianity and the imperative for social justice and social change. King's letter was smuggled out of jail and widely published.
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The afterglow that enveloped the march was quickly shattered when four little girls attending Sunday school were killed by a bomb that exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on Sept. But King himself faced growing criticism.
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Malcolm X, fiery spokesman for the Nation of Islam, mocked his nonviolent approach. Stokely Carmichael and others issued calls for "Black Power.
His assassination on April 4, , signaled the end of the apex of the civil rights movement. The status and role of the black church in the post-civil rights era has been the subject of lively debate among African American scholars. Some argue that "the black church" is "dead," that it has lost its prophetic and progressive voice and its capacity to mobilize for reform on the national stage. Others argue the church is very much alive, and point to the results of the Pew Religious Landscape Survey that shows that African Americans are more likely than any other ethnic or racial group to report a formal religious affiliation.
Even those who count themselves "unaffiliated" describe themselves as " religiously unaffiliated.
A Black Dating Site with a Difference
Yet it is clear that the church, like all social organizations, is changing. It is also clear that the debate about what the church is, is highly charged by competing ideas about what it ought to be. Should it carry forward the prophetic imperative of the civil rights movement, the collective mandate for social change? Or should it focus on personal prosperity and individual economic advancement?