Black Churches and Their Attitudes to the Social Protest in the Civil Rights Era: Obedience, Civil Disobedience and Black Liberation Theology

Paulina Napierała

Abstrakt
The article focuses on the diversity of attitudes that Black churches presented toward the social protest of the civil rights era. Although their activity has been often perceived only through the prism of Martin Luther King’s involvement, in fact they presented many different attitudes to the civil rights campaigns. They were never unanimous about social and political engagement and their to various responses to the Civil Rights Movement were partly connected to theological divisions among them and the diversity of Black Christianity (a topic not well-researched in Poland). For years African American churches served as centers of the Black community and fulfilled many functions of ethnic churches (as well as of other ethnic institutions), but the scope of these functions varied greatly – also during the time of the Civil Rights Movement. Therefore, the main aim of this article is to analyze the whole spectrum of Black churches’ attitudes to the civil rights protests, paying special attention to the approaches and strategies that are generally less known.
 
* Funding for the research leading to the results of this study was received from the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) on the basis of the Decision No. 2018/02/X/HS5/02381 for MINIATURA 2 project: “Polityczno-społeczna rola Kościołów afroamerykańskich na Południu USA.” I gratefully acknowledge this support.
Słowa kluczowe: the Black Church, African American churches, ethnic churches, Civil Rights Movement, Civil Disobedience, social protests, non-confrontational attitude, Black Liberation Theology
References

Aiello T. (2016), The Battle for the Souls of Black Folk: W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and the Debate That Shaped the Course of Civil Rights, Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.

Alabama Clergymen’s Letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963, https://web.archive.org/web/20181229055408/https://moodle.tiu.edu/pluginfile.php/57183/mod_resource/con­tent/1/StatementAndResponseKingBirmingham1.pdf [Accessed: 07.08.2019]

Angell S.W. (1992), Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and African-American Religion in the South, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

Baer H.A, Singer M. (2002), African-American Religion: Varieties of Protest and Accommodation, 2nd ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

Baldwin L. (2003), Revisiting the “All-Comprehending Institution”: Historical Reflections on the Public Roles of Black Churches, in: Smith D.R. (ed.), New Day Begun. African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America, Durham: Duke University Press.

Barber K.H. (2015), Whither Shall We Go? The Past and Present of Black Churches and the Public Sphere, “Religion”, nr 6, p. 245–265, www.mdpi.com/journal/religions [Accessed 07.07.2019]

Beito D.T., Royster Beito L. (2018), T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer, Oakland, CA: Independent Institute.

Boles J.B. (1988), Masters And Slaves in the House of the Lord: Race And Religion in the American South, 1740–1870, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky.

Carson C. (1986), “Constitutional Commentary” Vol. 3:616, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/sites/mlk/files/03_02_br_carson.pdf [07.06.2019]

Cone J.H. (1997), Black Theology & Black Power, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Cone J.H. (1975), God of the Oppressed, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Cone J.H. (2018), Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Cone J.H. (1972), The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Cone J.H. (1971), The Black Church and Black Power, in: Nelsen H.M., Yokley R.L., Nelsen A.K. (eds.) The Black Church in America, New York: Basic Books Inc. Vernon Johns Society, http://www.vernonjohns.org/tcal001/vjmontlt.html [07.07.2019]

Corbett M., Mitchell-Corbett J. (1999), Politics and Religion in the USA, New York: Graland Pub.

Dittmer J. (1994), Local People: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Dorrien G.J. (2015), The New Abolition: W. E. B. Du Bois And the Black Social Gospel, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Dorrien G.J. (2018), Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. And the Black Social Gos­pel, New Haven: Yale University Press.

DuBois B.W.E. (1903), The Negro Church, Atlanta: Atlanta University Press, http://scua.library.umass.edu/digital/dubois/dubois8.pdf. [02.03.2019]

Eligon J., A Black Evangelist Who Opposed Dr. King, “New York Times”, https://www.nytimes. com/2018/04/02/us/black-evangelist-elder-michaux-opposed-dr-king.html

Floyd-Thomas S., Floyd-Thomas J., Duncan C. B., Ray S.G., Westfield N.L. (2007), Black Church Studies. An Introduction, Nashville: Abington Press.

Frazier E. F. (1963), The Negro Church in America. Alfred A. Knopf.

Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Iconic Civil Rights Leader from Birmingham, died Wednesday, The Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford, https://kinginstitute.stan­ford.edu/news/fred-l-shuttlesworth-iconic-civil-rights-leader-birmingham-died-wednesday [05.05.2020].

Garrow D.J. (1985), The Origins of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, “Journal of the Southern Regional Council,” https://web.archive.org/web/20100714210519/http://beck.library.emory.edu/south­ernchanges/article.php?id=sc07-5_006 [10.12.2019].

Geertz C. (2007), Religia jako system kulturowy, in: Piwowarski W. (ed.), Socjologia religii. Anto­logia tekstów, Kraków: NOMOS, p. 40–69.

Giddens, A. (2006), Sociology. Oxford: Polity Press.

Glaude E.S. (2010), The Black Church is Dead, “Huffington Post,” https://www.huffpost.com/ entry/the-black-church-is-dead_b_473815 [02.07.2019]

Glenn N. (1964), Negro Religion in the United States, in: Schneider L, (ed.) Religion, Culture and Society, New York: Wiley.

Harris F. (1999), Something Within: Religion in African American Political Activism, New York: Oxford University Press.

Harris F.C. (2001), Black Churches and Civic Tradition: Outreach, Activism, and the Politics of Public Funding of Faith-Based Ministries, in: Walsh A. (ed.), Can Charitable Choice Work?, Hartford, Connecticut: Trinity College.

Harding V. (1981), There Is a River, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Harvey P. (2016), Civil Rights Movements and Religion in America (in:) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, https://oxfordre.com/religion/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/ acrefore-9780199340378-e-492; DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.492

Harvey P. (2016), Christianity and Race in the American South: a History, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Harvey P. (2005), Freedom’s Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War Through the Civil Rights Era, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Harvey P. (2011), Through the Storm, Through the Night: a History of African American Christian­ity, Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Johnson S.D. (1986), The Role of the Black Church in Black Civil Rights Movement, in: Johnson S.D., Tamney J.B. (eds.), The Political Role of Religion in the United States, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, p. 307–324

Johnstone, R. L. (1971), Negro Preachers Take Sides, in: Nelsen H.N., Yokley R.L., Nelsen A.K. (eds.), The Black Church in America, Basic Books Inc., New York 1971

Kehrer G. (1997), Wprowadzenie do socjologii religii. Translated by J. Piezga, Kraków: Nomos.

King M.L., Jr. (2010), Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Boston: Beacon Press.

King M. L. Jr. (1998), The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Carson C., Warner Books, King M. L. Jr. (1963), Letter From Birmingham City Jail, April 16, 1963: https://web.archive. org/web/20181229055408/https://moodle.tiu.edu/pluginfile.php/57183/mod_resource/con­tent/1/StatementAndResponseKingBirmingham1.pdf [03.05.2019].

Kirmani N. (2008), The Relationship Between Social Movements and Religion in Processes of ocial Change: A Preliminary Literature Review, Working Paper 23, Religions and Development Research Programme, https://www.academia.edu/5842673/The_Relationships_between_So­cial_Movements_and_Religion_in_Processes_of_Social_Change_A_Preliminary_Literature_Re­view [07.08.2019]

Kubiak H. (1970), Polski Narodowy Kościół Katolicki w Stanach Zjednoczonych Ameryki w latach 1897–1965, Wrocław: Wydawnictwo PAN.

Kurosaki M. (2012), The Sociopolitical Role of the Black Church in Post–Civil Rights Era America, “The Japanese Journal of American Studies,” No. 23, http://www.jaas.gr.jp/jjas/PDF/2012/12_263-283.pdf [09.07.2019].

Leś B. (1981), Kościół w procesie asymilacji Polonii Amerykańskiej. Przemiany funkcji politycznych instytucji i organizacji religijnych w środowisku Polonii Chicagowskiej, Wrocław: Wydawnic­two PAN.

Lincoln C. E., Mamiya L.H. (1990), The Black Church in the African American Experience, Durham: Duke University Press.

Marable M. (2015), for: The Role of the African American Church in the Civil Rights Movement, NBC Learn. NBC Universal Media. 4 Feb. 2008. NBC Learn. Web. 18 July 2015), https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=5041 [02.07.2019]

Marsden G. M. (2006), Fundamentalism and American Culture, New York: Oxford University Press.

Marsden G. M. (1990), Religion and American Culture, Orlando: Hartcourt Brace College Publishers.

Marsden G. M. (1991), Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, Grand Rapids Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Marx G. (1967), Protest and Prejudice. A Study of Belief in Black Community, New York: Harper and Row.

––– Religion: Opiate or Inspiration of Civil Rights Militancy Among Negroes? (1971) in: Nelsen H.M., Yokley R.L., Nelsen A.K. (eds.), The Black Church in America, New York: Basic Books Inc.

McAdam D. (1982), Political process and the development of Black insurgency, 1930–1970; Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Morris A. D. (1984), The origins of the civil rights movement: Black communities organizing for change, New York: Free Press.

Nash G.B. (1988), Forging Freedom: the Formation of Philadelphia’s Black Community, 1720–1840, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Neal R. (2010), in: The Black Church Is Dead – Long Live the Black Church, http://religiondis­patches.org/bupdated-with-responseb-the-black-church-is-dead-long-live-the-black-church/ [02.07.2019]

Nelsen H.M., Nelsen K.A. (1975), The Black Church in the Sixties, Lexington: University of Ken­tucky Press.

Noll M. (2002), America’s God: from Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln, New York: Oxford University Press.

NPR (2008), Civil Rights Leader on Race, Religion and Politics, https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89302902&t=1567025475982 [01.09.2019]

Payne Ch.M. (1996), I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pinn A. (2013), What Has the Black Church to Do with Public Life? New York: Palgrave McMillan.

Pinn A. (2002), The Black Church in the Post-Civil Rights Era, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002.

Pew Forum (2007), https://www.pewforum.org/2009/01/30/a-religious-portrait-of-african-amer­icans/ [02.09.2019].

“Position Statement In Support Of Black Power”, The Church Awakens: African Americans and the Struggle for Justice, https://episcopalarchives.org/church-awakens/items/show/183 [Ac­cessed 28.08.2019]

Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/powell-adam-clayton-jr [05.05.2020]

Raboteau A. J. (2001), Cannan Land. A Religious History of African Americans, New York: Oxford University Press.

Raboteau A. J. (2004), Slave Religion. “The Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South, New York: Oxford University Press.

Ransby B. (2003), Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Rawls J. (1971), A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Reed A., Jr. (1986), The Jessie Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ross B., Rehab el-Buri (2008), Obama’s Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11, ABC News, March 13, 2008, https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4443788 [Accessed: 05.04.2019]

Savage B.D. (2008), Your Spiritis Walk Beside Us. The Politics of Black Religion, Cambridge M.A.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2008

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/ encyclopedia/gandhi-mohandas-k [02.03.2019].

Ture K., Hamilton Ch.V. (1992), Black Power and the Politics of Liberation in America, New York: Vintage Books, https://mygaryislike.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/black-power-kwame-ture-and-charles-hamilton.pdf [01.09.2019]

Tygiel J. (1983), Baseball’s great experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press

Wald K.D., Calhoun-Brown A. (2011), Religion and Politics in the United States, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Wilmore G. (1998), Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of Afro-American People, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Kwartalnik ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w internecie.