African American Religion from 1800's to Present

Essay by jacksobrCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2007

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Being and African American in the late 1800's through the early to mid 1900's could be lightly classified as a predisposition. By this I mean that almost every African American faced extreme hardships that affected and changed the way we lived our lives. These hardships, such as racism and segregation, completely twisted and warped everything in African American society in so many ways; one could not even attempt to name them all. From the day I was born in 1890, almost all African Americans, including myself, needed something that would help us through these hardships we encountered on a day to day basis. Something that would give us guidance, and help us continue on in a day of hate. For this, I have only one solution: religion. Even in the earliest days of African American slavery to which my parents and grandparents lived through, religion could be seen throughout almost every aspect of a slaves' life.

To show the importance of religious beliefs during my parents and also my life; the first African American institution was the Negro church. I, having never been a slave, can't explain to you the importance of religion during slavery from a personal standpoint, but I can pull from the stories told to me in my younger years.

Along with the role of religion in my life, there are also many significant religious figures such as: W.E.B Dubois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Cassius Clay (better known as Muhammad Ali) that influenced me in many ways throughout my life. After slavery ended, racism still ran rampant throughout the United States. Segregation, along with racism, made every day to day task's difficulty raise ten fold. With this, African Americans were searching for someone to be the backbone of their society. The...