Race and Religion from Abolition to the Civil Rights Movement

I’m developing a course for spring 2020 that will use the robust tradition of religious resistance to white supremacy as a vehicle to introduce rhetorical principles and multimodal composition. We will explore how religious beliefs, symbols, and motifs both impeded and facilitated liberation movements from abolition to the Civil Rights Movement. We will discuss primarily black writers who drew on religious themes to resist slavery, lynching, and segregation, as well as critiqued the role Christianity played in legitimizing white supremacy.

Some of the texts I hope to teach include:

David Walker, “Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World”

Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

James Weldon Johnson, God’s Trombones

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

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