Literary Representations of the Black Church Summary


(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

The black church evolved out of the contradiction of white slave owners’ treating Africans and African Americans as soulless and nonhuman while encouraging them to seek Christian salvation. During the time of the American Revolution white church officials suspended their attention to the religious education of blacks. Blacks in turn responded to their incomplete indoctrination by turning white religious ideas in the direction of surviving African traditions, thereby conceiving their own vision of Christianity. Free blacks began to establish their own churches as early as 1776.