40 episodes

The church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African-American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

The History of Black Americans and the Black Church Daniel Whyte III

    • History
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African-American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 7; the Negro Church, Pt. 8; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 8

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 7; the Negro Church, Pt. 8; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 8

    Our Scripture verse for today is Psalm 119:93 which reads: "I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me."
    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He now begins to discuss statement which are frequently heard in the black church which he calls "innocent but dangerous." The first such statement is: "Anything dead needs to be buried.” Lee June says, “Devotion leaders or speakers often make this statement when they seek to ‘liven up’ the church service. Such a statement is intended to get the people more involved and outwardly expressive by ‘saying amen,’ singing, clapping, standing, shouting, and so on. This statement is innocent in the sense that the person who utters it is typically sincere and truly desires to get people involved in the worship experience and to express themselves physically. The statement, however, can be detrimental because it equates emotions with spirituality and worshiping. It is further potentially detrimental because it does not allow for the individuality or diversity of worship expressions. Some people are more reserved when it comes to emotions and still others feel deeply but do not express it outwardly. Some express themselves by meditating; others do so by crying and some by silently reflecting on and worshiping God. Such a statement also can rob, or at least interfere with, an individual who might want to quietly worship and meditate."
    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 7)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.
    The Big Business of Slave Trading, continued
    The Africans offered stiff resistance to their capture, sale, and transportation to the unknown New World. Hence wars broke out between tribes when the members of one sought to capture members of another to sell them to the traders.
    Queen Nzinga of Matamba (Angola today) attempted to coordinate a war of resistance against the Portuguese, as did Tomba of the Baga people in what is the Republic of Guinea today. Although their resistance was effective, they were not able to forestall the slave trade.
    ...
    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 8" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier.
    --- The Church and Education
    Negroes in the cities contributed to the support of schools for Negro children. Generally, the support which the free Negroes provided was greater in southern cities like Baltimore, Washington, and Charleston, South Carolina, than in New York and Philadelphia. As early as 1790, the Brown Fellowship Society in Charleston maintained schools for the free Negro children. An important fact about the schools which the free Negroes maintained was that many of them were Sunday schools.
    ...
    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by Dr. William A. Banks.
    Today we are looking at part 8 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"
    --- FRUSTRATING SECULAR CONDITIONS, Continued
    Kenneth Clark described this period as the "nadir" of the Negro in American life. It came, he said, "as a seemingly abrupt and certainly cruel repudiation of the promises of Reconstruction for inclusion of the Negro into the political and economic life of the nation. This was a period when the white crusaders for racial justice and democracy became weary as the newly freed Negroes could no longer be considered a purely Southern problem; when the aspirations for and movement of the Negroes toward justice and equality were curtailed and reversed by organized violence and barbarity perpetrated against them; w

    • 20 min
    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 6; the Negro Church, Pt. 7; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 7

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 6; the Negro Church, Pt. 7; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 7

    Our Scripture verse for today is Psalm 138:2 which reads: "Jesus saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He said, "Rituals, offerings, songs, and prayers are all vital in the life of a church community. The rituals of baptism and communion, as well as prayer, have clear biblical sanctions. Songs, likewise, are critical to worship. The challenge is to continue these practices in a manner that is consistent with Scripture."
    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 6)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.
    The Big Business of Slave Trading, continued
    It must not be assumed that trading in slaves involved the simple procedure of sailing into a port, loading up with slaves, and sailing away. In addition to the various courtesy visits and negotiations that protocol required and that the traders were inclined to follow in order to keep the local leaders in good humor, it was often difficult to find enough "likely" slaves to fill a ship of considerable size. Frequently, traders had to remain at one place for two or three weeks before enough slaves were rounded up to make the negotiations worthwhile. It was not unusual for a ship to be compelled to call at four or five ports in order to purchase as many as 500 slaves. Local inhabitants frequently had to scour the interior and use much coercion to secure enough slaves to meet the demands of the traders.
    ...
    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 7" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. 
    --- The Church and Economic Cooperation
    As DuBois pointed out more than fifty years ago, "a study of economic co-operation among Negroes must begin with the Church group." It was in order to establish their own churches that Negroes began to pool their meager economic resources and buy buildings and the land on which they stood. As an indication of the small beginnings of these churches, we may note that the value of the property of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1787 was only $2,500. During the next century the value of the property of this organization increased to nine million dollars. The Negroes in the other Methodist denominations, and especially in the numerous Baptist Churches, were contributing on a similar scale a part of their small earnings for the construction of churches.
    ...
    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by Dr. William A. Banks.
    Today we are looking at part 7 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"
    --- FRUSTRATING SECULAR CONDITIONS
    The years 1865-1914 are often considered the worst period in the American Negro's history. One writer referred to this period as: "the silent era, a time in which even those churches which had vociferously championed the abolition of slavery largely ignored the racial problems gathering during these years and turned their backs on the liberated slaves. (It is not coincidental that this was also the era of a vigorously expanded Protestant foreign mission program -- a possible compensation abroad for a glaring default at home) In this era, the North, preoccupied with its rapid industrial development, not only neglected the Negro it had freed, and left him to flounder, but also in a nationwide political maneuver returned the Negro to the control of his former master and to a condition little better than his previous slavery."
    ...

    • 17 min
    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 6; the Negro Church, Pt. 6; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 6

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 6; the Negro Church, Pt. 6; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 6

    Our Scripture verse for today is Colossians 2:9-10 which reads: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." On the matter of Negro spirituals, he quoted W.E.B. DuBois who wrote: “What are these songs, and what do they mean? I know little of music and can say nothing in technical phrase, but I know something of men, and knowing them, I know that these songs are the articulate message of the slave to the world. They tell us in these eager days that life was joyous to the black slave, careless and happy. I can easily believe this of some, of many. But not all the past South, though it rose from the dead, can gainsay the heart-touching witness of these songs. They are the music of an unhappy people, of the children of disappointment; they tell of death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world, of misty wanderings and hidden ways.”
    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 6)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.
    The Big Business of Slave Trading, continued
    During the Seven Years' War England transported more than 10,000 slaves to Cuba and approximately 40,000 to Guadeloupe. By 1788 two-thirds of all slaves brought by England to the New World were sold in foreign colonies. Naturally the planters in the English colonies objected to their competitors in the New World being provided with slaves by British traders. What the planters did not realize, perhaps, was that the slave trade had itself become an important factor in England's economic life. If England's colonies were the foundation of the English economic system, certainly in the eighteenth century the slave trade was an important cornerstone of that system.
    ...
    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 6" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:
    --- The Church as an Agency of Social Control, Part 3
    There was, of course, moral support for a patriarchal family to be found in the Bible and this fact contributed undoubtedly a holy sanction to the new authority of the Negro man in the family. However, there were more important ways in which the Negro church gave support to Negro family life with the father in a position of authority. As we have pointed out, after Emancipation the Negro had to create a new communal life or become integrated into the communities created by the Negroes who were free before the Civil War. Generally, this resulted in the expansion and complete transformation of these communities. The leaders in creating a new community life were men who with their families worked land or began to buy land or worked as skilled artisans.
    ...
    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by Dr. William A. Banks.
    Today we are looking at part 6 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"
    --- THE BAPTISTS (Continued)
    Obviously, the ministers who established these local Baptist assemblies were for the most part unlettered. There was no hierarchy or centralized authority. Each church was its own sovereign body; there was not then and is not now any such thing as the "Baptist Church." This lack of centralization meant that the Baptists were initially not nearly as strong and influential as the better organized AME Church. Nonetheless, with freedom came the organization of larger Baptist bodies or conventions.
    ...

    • 22 min
    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 5; the Negro Church, Pt. 5; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 5

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 5; the Negro Church, Pt. 5; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 5

    Our Scripture verse for today is Psalm 138:2 which reads: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
     
    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He said, "One of the earliest known treatments of the importance and role of songs in the development and survival of Black people was done by W.E.B. DuBois. His essay that appeared in the book The Souls of Black Folk was titled 'Of the Sorrow Songs.' On this contribution and unique art form, DuBois stated: 'Little of beauty has America given the world save the rude grandeur God himself stamped on her bosom; the human spirit in this new world has expressed itself in vigor and ingenuity rather than in beauty. And so by fateful chance the Negro folk­song -- the rhythmic cry of the slave -- stands today, not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side of the seas. It has been neglected, it has been, and is, half despised, and above all it has been persistently mistaken and misunderstood; but notwithstanding, it still remains as the singular spiritual heritage of the nation and the greatest gift of the Negro people.'"
     
    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 5)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.
     
    The Big Business of Slave Trading, continued
     
    Holland's wars with France and England in the late seventeenth century left it considerably weakened and never again did it achieve the dominance in the slave trade that it formerly held. Many independent Dutch traders sought wealth in Africa, a goal that the Dutch West India Company tried to obviate by offering licenses to such people. Because of its aggressiveness in the eighteenth century, Holland encountered new difficulties with other countries. Dutch traders pushed into sections of Africa that were under French influence, while on the Guinea coast Holland's seizure of certain possessions from Portugal caused much concern in England. In the West Indies and in South America, Holland used its holdings as centers for the distribution of slaves throughout the New World. Although the end of the century brought a noticeable decline in Dutch influence both in Africa and the New World, this decline did not take place until after Dutch traders had reaped a bountiful harvest from the slave trade.
     
    ...
     
    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 5" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:
     
    --- The Church as an Agency of Social Control, Part 2
     
    The problem of monogamous and stable family life was one of the most vexing problems that confronted northern white missionaries who undertook to improve the morals of the newly liberated blacks. These missionaries undertook to persuade the freedmen to legalize and formalize their marriages. There was resistance on the part of many of the slaves since legal marriage was not in their mores. Sometimes missionaries even attempted to use force in order that the freedmen legalize their sexual unions.
     
    ...
     
    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by  Dr. William A. Banks.
     
    Today we are looking at part 5 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"
     
    --- THE BAPTISTS
     
    Prior to the Civil War, the Baptists were composed almost entirely of local congregations, but they had attracted more Negroes in the South than had other denominations, After the Civil War they enjoyed phenomenal

    • 21 min
    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 4; the Negro Church, Pt. 4; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 4

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 4; the Negro Church, Pt. 4; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 4

    Our Scripture verse for today is Luke 9:23-24 which reads: "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
     
    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He said, "There is found in some songs a deep religious, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and theological significance. The songs sung in 'Black churches' often speak of a brighter day, assurance, hope, being on the battlefield, heaven, victory, and the power of God. Many observers of religion and gospel singing will admit that few sing with such creativity, melody, fervor, and emotion as Black people."
     
    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 4)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.
     
    The Big Business of Slave Trading
     
    When in 1517 Bishop Bartolomeo de Las Casas advocated the encouragement of immigration to the New World by permitting Spaniards to import African slaves, the trading of humans in the New World formally began. Las Casas was so determined to relieve Indians of the onerous burden of slavery that he recommended the slavery of Africans. (Later, he so deeply regretted having taken this position that he vigorously renounced it.) The ban against the use of Africans was removed, and Charles II issued licenses to several Flemish traders to take Africans to the Spanish colonies. Monopoly of the trade went to the highest bidders.
     
    ...
     
    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 4" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:
     
    --- The Church as an Agency of Social Control, Part 1
     
    In dealing with the Negro church as an agency of control we shall focus attention upon the relation of the church to the Negro family and sex life during the years following Emancipation. In order to understand the important role of the Negro church, it is necessary to have a clear conception of the situation which confronted organized religion. Under slavery, the Negro family was essentially an amorphous group gathered around the mother or some female on the plantation. The father was a visitor to the household without any legal or recognized status in family relations. He might disappear as the result of the sale of slaves or because of a whimsical change of his own feelings or affection.
     
    ...
     
    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by  Dr. William A. Banks.
     
    Today we are looking at part 4 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"
     
    --- THE METHODISTS
     
    The whites blamed the Denmark Vesey rebellion in South Carolina in 1822 upon the black Methodists and this hindered the denomination's expansion in the South. Then, too, the itinerant ministry with traveling officers was simply an impossibility for Negroes, whether bond or free. However, with Emancipation they were free to move about and evangelize.  Consequently, after the Civil War, many Negro Methodist assemblies came into existence and all grew very rapidly.
     
    ...

    • 20 min
    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 3; the Negro Church, Pt. 3; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 3

    Slavery & the New World, Pt. 3; the Negro Church, Pt. 3; the Reconstruction Period, Pt. 3

    Our Scripture verse for today is Isaiah 7:14 which reads: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

    Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He said, "There is found in some songs a deep religious, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and theological significance. The songs sung in 'Black churches' often speak of a brighter day, assurance, hope, being on the battlefield, heaven, victory, and the power of God. Many observers of religion and gospel singing will admit that few sing with such creativity, melody, fervor, and emotion as Black people."

    Our first topic for today is titled "The Slave Trade and the New World (Part 3)" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin.

    Doubtless, some Africans who were sold to the east and north during the period of Muslim domination found their way into the markets of Western Europe. It was not until the end of the fourteenth century, however, that Europeans themselves began to bring slaves into Europe. Both Spanish and Portuguese sailors were exploring the coast of Africa in the wake of the great wave of expansionism that had swept over Europe. They went to the Canary Islands and to innumerable ports on the mainland as far as the Gulf of Guinea...

    Our second topic for today is "The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 3" from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:

    --- The “Invisible Institution” Merges with the Institutional Church (Continued)

    It is our purpose here to show how an organized religious life became the chief means by which a structured or organized social life came into existence among the Negro masses. The process by which the “invisible institution” of the slaves merged with the institutional churches built by the free Negroes had to overcome many difficulties. These difficulties arose chiefly from the fact that there were among the free Negroes many mulattoes and that they, as well as the unmixed Negroes, represented a higher degree of assimilation of white or European culture. This was often reflected in the difference of the character of the religious services of those with a background of freedom and those who were just released from slavery...

    Our third and final topic for today is from "The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook" by Dr. William A. Banks.

    Today we are looking at part 3 of Chapter 4: "Reconstruction and Retaliation -- 1866 to 1914"

    TREMENDOUS CHURCH GROWTH

    But what about the church? How did it fare? It grew by leaps and bounds and easily became the very center of Negro social life: a means for self expression, recognition, and shelter from the cruel white world. Many mutual-aid societies and orders were founded which, along with the churches, offered help in time of sickness and death. The Negro preacher became a very important factor in the life of his people, more so than ever before. Two things happened. The "invisible" church of the Southern plantations during slavery time now became visible, adding for the most part to the size and number of independent Baptist and Methodist Negro churches...

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

FrancescaMasters ,

Significant podcast at this critical juncture for race equality

Daniel Whyte III has a profound grasp of the subject matter and his passionate delivery is a testament to that. His positive, humbling energy is channeled through the sound waves. At this time when we are reflecting on race within the historical context and reevaluating the shaky foundations upon which the United States was established, this podcast is incredibly relevant and necessary. Thank you

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To