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The Burden of Black Religion$
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Curtis J. Evans

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328189.001.0001

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 The Creation and the Burden of the Negro Church

 The Creation and the Burden of the Negro Church

(p.141) 4 The Creation and the Burden of the Negro Church
The Burden of Black Religion

Curtis J. Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

W. E. B. Bu Bois and other black leaders played a crucial role in the creation of the “Negro Church.” By using the language and tools of the social sciences, black intellectuals and leaders hoped to incite and urge the black churches to use their resources to assist and uplift a people downtrodden by racism and economic oppression. Instrumentalists, those who wanted to use the church as a means or instrument for other ends (besides religion), came to dominate interpretations of black religion among African American leaders. Although Du Bois initially hoped to provide detailed local studies of black churches, his long‐term legacy (and that of other black leaders) was to foster longstanding debates about whether the “Black Church” supported or undermined a racist status quo.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, Negro Church, social sciences, uplift, racism, economic oppression, black churches, black intellectuals, instrumentalists, Black Church

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