Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

Barbara Dianne Savage

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pp. vii-xvi

When the Philadelphia Anthropological Society sponsored the publication of Arthur Huff Fauset's Black Gods of the Metropolis in 1944, his fellow members at the Society considered him uniquely qualified to conduct a study of black religious cults in Philadelphia. ...

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Introduction

John Szwed

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pp. xvii-xxii

There is no more poorly understood area of Afro-American life than that of its churches, cults, and sects. Throughout the history of the black man in the United States, his churches have been the subject of fanciful speculation by scholars, sensationalists, reformers, entertainers, and bigots. ...

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Author's Note

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pp. xxiii-xxiv

A full decade before Rosa Parks' tired feet focused a world spotlight on Montgomery, Alabama, and the Rev. Martin Luther King, this University of Pennsylvania study indicated the likely direction that future black religious leadership would take. ...

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I: Negro Religious Cults In The Urban North

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pp. 1-12

Harlem is not the only "Negro city within a city." Philadelphia and Chicago both have Negro populations which exceed the total figures for such cities as Omaha and Richmond. Detroit and Cleveland are not far behind. ...

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II: Mt. Sinai Holy Church of America, Inc.

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pp. 13-21

My wife and I were Baptists. My wife got zealous because she said she wanted to get nearer to the holy spirit and so she joined with Mt. Olive. That put my wife a step higher in Christianity than I was. This was not so good. So I studied and interviewed the holy people in order to even up things. One thing I noticed. ...

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III: United House of Prayer for All People (Bishop Grace)

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pp. 22-30

I lived in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had been a Methodist for twenty-seven years, but I really didn't know what the spirit of the Lord truly meant. I thought I knew, but I never had any experience like I got after I saw the light. It was like this: I had been going to the Methodist church, but Bishop Grace came through Raleigh. ...

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IV: Church of God (Black Jews)

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pp. 31-40

Mrs. I. is an intelligent woman about thirty-five years of age, married and the mother of two children. She joined Prophet Cherry's church about six years ago. She formerly was a member of a holiness church, but, according to her, their worship is a "tale," just a fake. The business of speaking in tongues is a joke. ...

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V: Moorish Science Temple of America

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pp. 41-51

H. R. was born in Louisiana. From the age of seven years he could not believe in Christianity. At a church meeting one day he saw his mother fall out. All about her they said, "Loosen her corset!" He thought she was dying. But she recovered all right. A year or so later he asked her, "What was the matter?" ...

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VI: Father Divine Peace Mission Movement

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pp. 52-67

Sing happy is a tall, dark-brown-skinned, well-preserved Negro of about seventy years of age, with short gray hair and good teeth. He has a very strong baritone voice which is well known among the followers of Father Divine who join in the singing at Rockland Palace. One day many years ago Sing Happy heard Father call out to him in his apartment, "Happy!" ...

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VII: Comparative Study

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pp. 68-75

The following order probably represents the degree of conformity of the cults studied with the more orthodox evangelical Christian denominations: ...

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VIII: Why The Cults Attract

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pp. 76-86

As is to be expected, different people are attracted to a cult for different reasons. This fact is reflected in a difference in emphasis in the various cults. But there is one main attraction which stands out in all cults, making a kind of common bond among them: it is the desire to get closer to some supernatural power, be it God, the Holy Spirit, or Allah. ...

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IX: The Cult as a Functional Institution

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pp. 87-95

Reference has been made to the role of the Negro cult in relieving and releasing psychological tensions, particularly in the case of Negroes who are confronted for the first time with the problems of northern urban life. It would be natural for cult leaders to recognize the functional possibilities of the cult mechanism along various lines; ...

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X: The Negro and His Religion

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pp. 96-106

The religiosity of the Negro often is taken for granted. Not only is this a popular opinion, but important social scientists intimate and even emphasize the fact. ...

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XI: Summary of Findings

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pp. 107-110

1. It is a fair inference that the apparent over-emphasis by the American Negro in the religious sphere is related to the comparatively meager participation of Negroes in other institutional forms of American culture, such as business, politics, and industry, a condition which is bound up intimately with the prevailing custom of racial dichotomy which restricts the normal participation of Negroes in many avenues of American life. ...

Appendices

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pp. 111-122

Bibliography

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pp. 123-126