W. E. B. Du Bois was editor and principal author of The Negro Church, first published in 1903. A groundbreaking study, this volume is the first in-depth treatment of African-American religious life. It is the first sociological book on religion in the United States. It is the first empirical study of religion conducted by Black scholars. It is a landmark historical text on African-American religion and mores of a century and more ago. A new introduction provides the contextual backdrop for understanding the religious scholarship and faith of Du Bois. The appearance of this text for a new generation of students, scholars, researchers, and communities of faith is cause to celebrate. Recognition of The Negro Church is long overdue and justly deserved.
""The entire scholarly community and all concerned Americans welcome the reprint of The Negro Church. W. E. B. Du Bois, the most brilliant intellectual ever produced by the United States, penned this social scientific study in 1903. Not only is this the first academic engagement with the black church and black religion. It is also the first text on sociology of religion in American history. Thus Du Bois understood the centrality of black people to the US narrative. Similarly, he understood the centrality of the black church for black communities. Here is scholarship at its best--engaged, theoretical work making a difference in everyday lives. Alton B. Pollard III has offered a masterful introduction for the twenty-first-century reader.""
-Dwight N. Hopkins author of Being Human: Race, Culture, and Religion
""No one can have a respectable knowledge of African American Christianity who has not read Woodson's The History of the Negro Church (1921) and Du Bois's earlier sociological study of the same subject, The Negro Church (1903). Now we have a much anticipated new edition of the latter book by one of the late C. Eric Lincoln's brightest proteges, Alton B. Pollard, the dean of the Divinity School of Howard University. Pollard's explanatory and expansive introduction is alone worth the price of the book, making Du Bois's path-blazing opus live again as an indispensable guide to understanding the scope, depth, and paradoxes of classic Black religion and theology today.""
-Gayraud S. Wilmore
ITC, Honorably Retired
""In editing and providing commentary on The Negro Church, Alton B. Pollard III has provided a valuable and accessible resource for Du Bois scholars and students that is also of interest for general readers.""
-Carol B. Duncan
Wilfrid Laurier University
W. E. B. Du Bois is a towering figure in African-American and US twentieth-century social, cultural, political, and intellectual life. He was a pioneering social scientist, leading literary light, political progressive, and precursor to the modern Black-led movement for freedom in the African Diaspora and on the African continent. DuBois's spiritual disciples and descendants among the world's communities of African descent are numerous.
Alton B. Pollard III is Dean and Professor of Religion and Culture at Howard University School of Divinity and is the author of Mysticism and Social Change: The Social Witness of Howard Thurman.
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About the Author
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) was an African-American sociologist, civil rights activist, and author. He was one of the founding members of the NAACP, and he is well-known for believing on full civil rights and disagreeing with Booker T. Washington’s argument that blacks remain subservient. His most famous book, The Souls of Black Folk, defines the term "double-consciousness" and remains a cornerstone of African-American literature.