Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

While my name appears as the author of this book, I am indebted to numerous people whose support was crucial to the completion of this project. I thank them here, collectively and singularly, and hope that I have managed to mention all of them.

Fellow travelers in the field of fundamentalism studies have provided me with insightful observations, debated me when they thought I was wrong, and celebrated when I brought new ideas to the conversation. Matthew Avery Sutton, in particular, read multiple drafts...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

In 2008, as the United States elected Barack Obama to the presidency, the voters of California also approved Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. National media outlets expressed surprise that African Americans in California would support what appeared to be two diametrically opposed positions: the elevation of the Democratic nominee—a black man—to the presidency and the limitation of the rights of a minority group, a position that also enjoyed the support of conservatives in California and...

read more

1. “Too Frequently They Are Led Astray”: White Fundamentalists and Race

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-40

“Cuff was a negro slave who lived in the South before the war,” the 1929 article in William Bell Riley’s The Pilot, told readers. “He was a joyful Christian and a faithful servant.” But Cuff ’s master, greedy for money, sold him to “an infidel,” who insisted that Cuff not pray. Cuff persisted, despite repeated whippings. The “infidel” master, suddenly taken ill and believing himself to be on his death bed, insisted that his wife not call the doctor but instead bring Cuff in from the fields. Cuff, naturally, came to the man’s bedside and when asked to pray for him, responded, “‘Yes, bress de Lord,...

read more

2. “What Is the Matter with White Baptists?”: African Americans’ Initial Encounters with Fundamentalism

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-67

Just weeks after the United States entered the Great War, Jonathan H. Frank, editor of the National Baptist Union-Review, described another struggle underway, a struggle between different factions of white Protestants over doctrine. This battle, however, was far from the churches of black Americans, he assured his readers. “The upheavals and readjustments of mental processes that have unsettled so many white people are not challenging the attention of colored Baptist preachers,” he wrote. “Thus far colored folks are not engaged in the unholy task of explaining...

read more

3. “We Need No New Doctrine for This New Day”: African Americans Adapt Fundamentalism

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 68-97

W. A. Taylor, the pastor of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washing- ton, DC, shared his dilemma with his fellow National Baptist Convention, Incorporated members. In a 1935 article rhetorically entitled, “Is There a Need for a Restatement of Baptist Doctrine and Polity,” he captured the problem by posing two answers to the title’s implied question and noting that “either horn of which may get us into trouble.” “If we answer yes,” he explained, “we fly into the faces of those orthodox fundamentalists, who stand guard over the traditions of the church...

read more

4. “Only the Gilded Staircase to Destruction”: African American Protestants Confront the Social Challenges of Modernity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 98-125

“Brethren,” National Baptist Convention, Incorporated president L. K. Williams addressed his annual meeting in 1929, “we are living in a gay, swift, giddy age, and it is placing its definite impact upon all found in its wake. Giddy, pleasure loving and pleasure seeking people are a standing challenge and a menace to our churches.” Specific among the threats was the “reckless divorce craze,” which Williams credited with ruining the home life of Christians and allowing them to engage in gambling, going to the movies, and reading “cheap vulgar publications.” While such distractions...

read more

5. “And This Is Where the White Man’s Christianity Breaks Down”: Race Relations and Ecclesiology in the Era of Lynchings and Jim Crow

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 126-152

J. D. Crenshaw, editor of the National Baptist Voice, lamented the “Unprecedented Crime Waves” as the year 1921 began. After cataloging the many offenses (“burglary, assassination, robbery, murder, raping, Ku Kluxism, lynching, brutalities and the trampling of all law under the unhallowed feet of blood-thirsty hoodlums”), Crenshaw pointedly observed that “Christian America” was interested in improving such situations abroad, but that it ignored its own problems. “Charity,” he wrote, “it is said, and aptly may be applied here, begins at home. This is clearly true...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 153-158

The improbably named editor of the National Baptist Union-Review, Benjamin Jefferson Davis, was in no mood to be charitable as he wrote his editorials in 1941. With the country’s focus on the war in Europe and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stressing the Four Freedoms, Davis had had enough. “Our position,” he stated plainly, “is that the white man’s religion is un-Christian and is not the religion that Christ lived and taught while on earth.” White people prevented black suffrage in the South and discriminated against black people nationally. Yet while whites did...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-186

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 187-194

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-204