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After RedemptionJim Crow and the Transformation of African American Religion in the Delta, 1875-1915$
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John M. Giggie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304039.001.0001

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The Intersecting Rhythms of Spiritual and Commercial Life

The Intersecting Rhythms of Spiritual and Commercial Life

(p.96) 3 The Intersecting Rhythms of Spiritual and Commercial Life
After Redemption

John M. Giggie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the intersection between consumer capitalism and black religion in the Delta. After Reconstruction, African Americans increasingly turned to the market to raise money for their churches, schools, and newspapers and to expand their access to manufactured goods. Preachers began to serve as peddlers to their congregations, advertising and selling domestic consumer goods produced by northern white manufacturers and netting a small commission every time they sold a bolt of cloth, a pair of shoes, a stove, or an organ. Religious newspapers counseled readers on what to buy and where to buy it. The effect was to change the character of relationship between the consumer market and black religion in the South: consumer capitalism spread to blacks partly through their own networks of religious leaders and institutions and, in turn, black Baptists and Methodists integrated the language and practices of the market more directly into their spiritual lives.

Keywords:   African American, religion, preachers, consumer, commercial, capitalism, peddlers, commodities, manufacturers

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