God Almighty, Make Me Free
Christianity in Preemancipation JamaicaeBook - 1996
This important text describes the impact of evangelical Christianity on slaves in Jamaica (the overwhelming majority of the island's population) in the eighty-four years between the arrival of the first European Protestant missionaries and the emancipation of British slaves in 1838. Shirley C. Gordon argues that the conversion process was achieved through the work of black and colored proselytizers - independent preachers and deacons, leaders, aids, slave and free - and European missionary stations. The acceptance of Christianity was progressively associated with slaves' growing aspirations for freedom, and the desire of freed persons for socio-political recognition in colonial society. Gordon draws on letters and diaries of European missionaries who reported their encounters with a largely illiterate population. These accounts reflect the varied responses to missionaries, and the consistent opposition from the slave-holding sugar interests in Jamaica. This volume also dramatizes the counterpoint between missionary preaching for conversion and the slave beliefs and practices originating in African traditions. God Almighty Make Me Free represents Caribbean-centered history using missionary sources to explore the responses of a slave and free population to the Christian teaching of white European and of black American and native preachers. This work provides a unique analysis of black American religion under slavery.
Publisher: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1996
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiii, 159 pages) : map