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The Historical Functions of the Black Church in the U.S.

388), which advocated the separate-but-equal concept and the notion of gradualism in race politics, proved a sanction for still more rigid segregation.

The U.S. Supreme Court sanctioned Jim Crowism in 1896 with the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which held-that states had the right to enforce segregation laws, in the instant case with respect to rail travel. Plessy originated in the South; afterward, many Negroes (then the current term of art for African Americans) migrated to the urban North.

The North came to be regarded as the "land of promise," and the Negro press did much to persuade Southern Negroes to abandon the existence which held nothing better for them than second class citizenship . . . In 1917 the Christian Recorder wrote, "If a million Negroes move north and west in the next twelvemonth, it will be one of the greatest things for the Negro since the Emancipation Proclamation" (Franklin, 1964, p. 464).

The promise of urbanization and migration, however, was largely fulfilled for blacks because they were never integrated into the mainstream of economic and social life in the U.S. Instead, they were and remain a minority culture, subject to the vicissitudes of the mainstream, and subject, too, in significant part, to the residue of separate and unequal treatment by that mainstream. Such social participation in the culture as American blacks have experienced has historically come in respect of religious affiliation. In turn, religious affiliation was an aspect of social, economic, and political participation. Indeed, religious affiliation was a touchstone of meaningful political participation by the aggregate of American blacks. For example, even the efforts of Negro labor organizer A. Philip Randolph in the 1930s to organize a union for Pullman Porters did not muster a wide response in the United States. The American labor movement of that period, which was white-controlled, did not cooperate. As James Q. Wilso...

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The Historical Functions of the Black Church in the U.S.. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 12:51, November 24, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304008088.html
 
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