Bound For the Promised Land: African American Religion and by Milton C. Sernett

By Milton C. Sernett

Bound for the Promised Land is the 1st large exam of the effect at the American spiritual panorama of the good Migration—the move from South to North and from state to urban by means of thousands of African americans following global warfare I. In concentrating on this phenomenon’s spiritual and cultural implications, Milton C. Sernett breaks with conventional styles of historiography that learn the migration when it comes to socioeconomic considerations.
Drawing on a number of sources—interviews, govt records, church periodicals, books, pamphlets, and articles—Sernett indicates how the mass migration created an institutional hindrance for black spiritual leaders. He describes the artistic tensions that resulted while the southern migrants who observed their exodus because the moment Emancipation introduced their spiritual ideals and practices into northern towns comparable to Chicago, and strains the ensuing emergence of the assumption that black church buildings must be greater than locations for "praying and preaching." Explaining how this social gospel viewpoint got here to dominate the various vintage stories of African American faith, Bound for the Promised Land sheds new mild on numerous parts of the improvement of black faith, together with philanthropic endeavors to "modernize" the southern black rural church. In delivering a balanced and holistic figuring out of black faith in post–World battle I the United States, Bound for the Promised Land serves to bare the demanding situations almost immediately confronting this very important portion of America’s spiritual mosaic.

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56 Proponents of the Anglo-Saxon philosophy of progress perpetuated an optimistic outlook, even as more and more black southerners were showing their dissatisfaction by going up North or flocking to southern cities. " 57 Supported by white philanthropy, Hampton Institute, founded in 1868, was a center of the agrarian version of the American Dream for southern blacks. The Hampton and Tuskegee programs held up the goal of becoming self-sufficient farmers to black tenants, sharecroppers, and wage laborers.

Bonner, pastor of the St. " 64 Until circumstances changed with the outbreak of the Great War, most southern blacks adopted "stayhereation" because they felt that they had no viable alternative. And, like Bonner, they comforted themselves with religious hope-a hope generations old. Du Bois wrote in his classic Black Reconstruction: "to most of the four million black folk emancipated by civil war, God was real. They knew Him. They had met Him personally in :many a wild orgy of religious frenzy, or in the black stillness of the night.

Scott had been secretary and assistant to Booker T. Washington and caretaker executive of Tuskegee Institute after Washing- 40 BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND ton's death. 12 James W. Johnson, field secretary of the NAACP, made two trips to the South, one at the beginning of the Great Migration and another at its zenith, and he admitted that obtaining a definite figure on the size of the exodus was difficult. He wrote Charles S. Johnson of the Urban League in January 1918 that estimates of 500,000 and higher were plausible.

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