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Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform
     

Mighty Like a River: The Black Church and Social Reform

by Andrew Billingsley
 

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Throughout the history of the African American people there has been no stronger resource for overcoming adversity than the black church. From its role in leading a group of free Blacks to form a colony in Sierra Leone in the 1790s to helping ex-slaves after the Civil War, and from playing major roles in the Civil Rights Movement to offering community outreach

Overview

Throughout the history of the African American people there has been no stronger resource for overcoming adversity than the black church. From its role in leading a group of free Blacks to form a colony in Sierra Leone in the 1790s to helping ex-slaves after the Civil War, and from playing major roles in the Civil Rights Movement to offering community outreach programs in American cities today, black churches have been the focal point of social change in their communities. Based on extensive research over several years, Mighty Like a River is the first comprehensive account of how black churches have helped shape American society. An expert in African American culture, Andrew Billingsley surveys nearly a thousand black churches across the country, including its oldest, the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. These black churches, whose roots extend back to antebellum times, have periodically confronted social, economic, and political problems facing the African American community. Mighty Like a River addresses such questions as: How widespread and effective is the community activity of black churches? What are the patterns of activities being undertaken today? How do activist churches confront such problems as family instability, youth development, AIDS and other health issues, and care for the elderly? With profiles of the remarkable black heroes and heroines who helped create the activist church, and a compelling agenda for expanding the black church's role in society at large, Mighty Like a River is an inspirational, visionary, and definitive account of the subject.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Billingsley (sociology/African American studies, Univ. of South Carolina) has written a short book on a mighty theme: the black church as a major influencing factor in the black community for promoting the general good and a driving force for equality and righteousness. It is amazing how much ground he covers. Part historical document, part sociological study, part journalistic reporting with numerous case studies, his book transcends time and place to present a narrative that is both compelling and fascinating. Billingsley begins with the many antebellum black churches and their periodic battles against the overwhelmingly powerful advocates of slavery, then carries this story to the modern-day black church and its nearly constant battles to secure political and economic rights for the black community. He then effortlessly ties together the tasks of both churches, showing how they are actually the same. The book reaches another level at the end as it calls for continued and relentless black church activism to tackle the enduring problems of modern American society. Recommended for all libraries.--Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198026587
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/24/1999
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Andrew Billingsley, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Sociology, African American Studies, and the Institute for Families in Society at the University of South Carolina, is the author of six books of sociology, including Children of the Storm, Black Families in White America, and Climbing Jacob's Ladder: The Enduring Legacy of African American Families.

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