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T H E A L A B A M A R E V I E W 226 dants in an arson case, Elder prudently examined his automobile each morning before driving to work. Following the 1972–73 season, he resigned and returned to graduate school. As he left northeastern Alabama, Elder experienced mixed feelings about his efforts to change racial attitudes through sports. He hoped that his integrated teams had been “catalysts for change” (p. 129), but for the moment his emotions told him that the experiment had failed. In later years, though, reflecting on the sweeping racial changes that had taken place across the state, he concluded that his efforts had been more successful than he first imagined. Elder has provided a readable if somewhat pedestrian account of racial practices in high school and college basketball in Ohio and Alabama, thereby illuminating what athletic integration was like “in the trenches” (p. 133). His memoir will appeal more to sports fans and the general reader than academic specialists. Like recent studies of the civil rights movement which concentrate on grass-roots activities in specific communities, Elder gives us a useful account of how “local people” experienced racial change in college basketball. He is correct that this part of the broader story of athletic integration has been mostly ignored. In fact, one can go even further and suggest that the complicated and sometimes painful story of high school sports integration across the South remains to be told. All Guts and No Glory takes one small step towards recreating the landscape of the non-elite college sports world and the effects of athletic integration on local communities. CHARLES H. MARTIN University of Texas at El Paso Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama. By Wilson Fallin Jr. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007. xiv, 332 pp. $39.95. ISBN 978-0-8173-1596-6. This is a book thirty years in the making. Wilson Fallin Jr. began work on a history of the Alabama Missionary Baptist State Convention in 1975, and now Alabama’s black Baptists and indeed anyone inter- J U L Y 2 0 0 8 227 ested in the state and its religious history can be thankful Fallin persevered . Given its origins, it is not surprising that Uplifting the People operates largely as a denominational history, recounting the development of the Alabama Colored Baptist State Convention since its origins in 1868. There have been other denominations of black Baptists in the state during this time, and Fallin does provide brief descriptions of each and some indication of why it was formed. Yet his primary narrative combines signal moments in the history of the Alabama Colored Baptist State Convention, miniature biographies of denominational leaders, brief accounts of notable churches, and a sense of the travails of creating and maintaining schools and colleges. Drawing upon a long personal history of leadership within the denomination and its institutions of higher education, Fallin gives a particularly rich account of the history of Selma University. With all its strengths as a denominational history, however, Uplifting the People does not treat the history of black Baptists in isolation from the social and political context; Fallin skillfully describes how black religious life in Alabama has shaped and been shaped by Alabama’s history. Stretching his history back even before Alabama statehood, Fallin describes the development of a distinctive Afro-Baptist faith practiced by black Christians, the majority of whom were enslaved. He shows the complexity of black Alabamians’ antebellum religious world through their varying worship spaces in brush arbors, in whitecontrolled biracial churches, and in a small number of semi-independent black Baptist churches dating from perhaps as early as 1806, when the Stone Street Baptist church developed in Mobile. The story is probably not so neat as Fallin suggests when he divides black slave preachers into two categories, those who preached in biracial churches with white approval and those who preached to the black community without supervision. It seems likely that these were not mutually exclusive categories. Yet his implied point—that the place of African American worship shaped its likely content and experience for both preacher and congregation—is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-9961
Print ISSN
0002-4341
Pages
pp. 226-229
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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