Slave Religion Research Paper

Words: 3114
Pages: 13

We'll soon be free,
We'll soon be free,
We'll soon be free,
When de Lord will call us home. For almost eight decades, enslaved African-Americans living in the Antebellum South, achieved their freedom in various ways—one being religion—before the demise of the institution of slavery. It was “freedom, rather than slavery, [that] proved the greatest force for conversion among African Americans in the South” (94). Starting with the Great Awakening and continuing long after the abolition of slavery, after decades of debate, scholars conceptualized the importance of religion for enslaved African-Americans as a means of escaping the brutalities of daily life. Overall, Christianity helped enslaved African American resist the degradation
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The planation missions were extremely successful in Georgia after the 1830 planter-assembly of two powerful associations for the religious instruction of slaves—the most famous being the Liberty Country Association. Thanks to these alliances, many Georgia slave-owners built churches on their own plantations because almost half of the states’ slave population lived on estates with more than thirty slaves. Prominent planters facilitated the role of religion for enslaved Africa-Americans living throughout South Carolina. For example, mainstream South Carolina planters, Charles Pinckey, Edward Laurens, and Whitemarsh Seabrook, “stressed the benefits of a Christian slave population before South Carolina agricultural societies”, which inspired many masters to carry the gospel to their own slaves and fund antebellum plantation missions across the South. Even though it is difficult to measure the overall effectiveness of plantation missions, the missions provided a rational for training and supporting black spiritual leaders and helped nurture black congregations that began in the 1840s and 1850s. Despite the mission’s support, due to regional variations in the organization, leadership, and governance of antebellum church structures, black church participation impacted the role of religion in the lives of slaves dispersed across the South. It is important to note that African-American slaves gathered together in formal and