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Notes List of Abbreviations Used in Notes ACS American Colonization Society AME African Methodist Episcopal AMEZ African Methodist Episcopal Zion CR Christian Recorder KJV King James Version NCBEMC Proceedings Proceedings of the Joint Sessions of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention, the Ministerial Union, the Hayes-­Fleming Foreign Missionary Society, and the State Sunday School Convention of North Carolina Senate Report on the Exodus Report and Testimony of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the ­Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States, 3 parts, 46th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate Report no. 693 SOZ Star of Zion Introduction 1. Report of Speech by Edwin Jones, August 22, 1867, Letters Received, Oaths of Office, and Rec­ords Relating to Registration and Elections, 1865–69, ser. 1380, Post of Wilmington, Rec­ ord Group 393 Pt. 4, National Archives, quoted in Foner, “Reconstruction and the Black Po­liti­cal Tradition,” 62. 2. Let me offer some prominent examples. W. E. B. Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction offers a Marxist reading of black po­liti­cal consciousness in the aftermath of freedom. The work concerns the interests and actions of the black worker but does not look deeply into black Southerners’ religious or theological outlook. Eric Foner’s Reconstruction in many ways follows Du Bois’s work, by centering black experience and by critiquing the Dunning School of Reconstruction history. Foner, unlike Du Bois, shifts attention from blacks as the proletariat to black use of republican ideology. Foner also differs from Du Bois in his attention to religion. Foner recognizes that religious language was as common as republican ideology in the articulations of black leaders in Reconstruction. But though he attempts to give religion its fair share of attention, he fails to give it its fair share of analy­sis. Foner recognizes the prevalence of religious 164 Notes to Introduction language but does not delve deeper. Religion, in Foner’s analy­ sis, is a language with which African Americans convey po­ liti­ cal messages or inspire po­ liti­ cal action. But religion does not seem to have much content that deserves unpacking. Steven Hahn’s A Nation ­under Our Feet takes its title from the forty-­seventh Psalm and the title of its­ middle section, “To Build a New Jerusalem,” from the last two chapters of Revelation , but you would not know it from reading Hahn. In the introduction, Hahn explains that the book began with his attempt to understand why and how African Americans ­ were so po­ liti­ cally motivated in the years immediately following emancipation . Where did such an active po­ liti­ cal culture come from? Hahn answers the question by reaching back to the po­ liti­ cal culture of slavery and tracing its development into the twentieth ­ century. Along the way, he encounters and recounts numerous theological references, but leaves them unexplained. I argue that the frequent references to biblical stories and theological concepts give us insight to black po­ liti­ cal culture, and find it surprising, given his questions and the title of his book, that Hahn does not. ­ Labor historian David Roediger has resurrected Du Bois’s description of emancipation as a “general strike” among slaves. In his recent work Seizing Freedom, Roediger employs the term Jubilee in its specific biblical meaning and agrees with my assessment that the explanation of the biblical reference ­ matters for interpreting what slaves wanted when they emancipated themselves. See 29, 44–45n32. 3. The Oxford Companion to the Bible defines eschatology as “the teaching concerning last ­ things, such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, the end of this world, and the creation of a new one.” Oxford Companion to the Bible, s.v. “Eschatology ,” http://­www​.­oxfordreference​.­com​/­views​/­ENTRY​.­html​?­entry​ =­ t120​.­e0229 (accessed July 28, 2008). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines it more broadly, similar to my own definition: “the doctrine of the last ­ things, that is the ultimate destiny both of the individual soul and of the ­whole created order.” Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, s.v. “Eschatology,” http://­www​.­oxford​ reference​.­com​/­views​/­ENTRY​.­html​?­entry​ =­ t95​.­e1976 (accessed July 29, 2008). 4. Wilmore, Last ­Things First, 29. 5. I am indebted to Reginald Hildebrand for helping me formulate this observation . The phrase quoted ­here appeared in several of King’s public speeches but has its origins in the nineteenth ­century. See Parker, Ten Sermons of Religion, 84–85...


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