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Black Churches to African Americans Included

During and after reconstruction, there was the emergence of black churches. These were churches that predominantly preached to African Americans. Churches that emerged during this time included:

  1. African Methodist Episcopal.
  2. National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
  3. Church of God in Christ.
  4. Apostolic Faith ministries.
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Black Churches vs White Churches

Black churches had seceded from white churches in order to manage their own affairs and solve problems that were relevant and related to them. Black churches tended to look at social issues such as gang violence, use of drugs, poverty, prison ministry, and racism. Africans preferred these churches as they of traditional instinct and cultural association. They felt a sense of belonging in them. Unlike in the white churches where women were not ordained and had little say, African churches gave them a chance to assert themselves and they took leadership positions in these churches. “The black power statement” published in the New York times by a group known as the National Council of Negro Churches called for the church to be more aggressive in fighting for equal rights.

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American Civil Rights Movement

Black churches took leadership in the American civil rights movement and they were in fact the backbone of civil rights activism. Black liberation theology insisted on a more aggressive approach to fighting racism and segregation. The quest to have African ministers and elders in white-dominated churches also led to the expansion of the church.

Migration patterns of the back Americans. During and after reconstruction, rural-urban migration began among the blacks. Blacks moved from rural homes to towns where there were more opportunities and better social amenities. Urban areas had better services in health care, electricity, clean water, and better entertainment joints. This contrasted with the scenario in rural areas where services were poor and inaccessible. Industrialized towns attracted many blacks as they offered jobs with better pay and better working conditions.

After the withdrawal of the federal troops there was a great movement of Africans from the South to the north, one of which came to be as the Kansas exodus of1879. Africans moved from the south to the north which was more prosperous and where better-paying jobs were found. Migration of the blacks towards the north continued to create racial tension in the north as the white felt that the blacks brought competition and also feared an increase in the crime rate.

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Black Fraternity Orders and Racial Segregation

Black fraternity orders and racial segregation. A reconstruction, Africans expected social change in the confederates. Reforms such as land redistribution which could give them an opportunity to own land were never executed. Andrew Johnson, the then president, ordered that all land that had been taken during the war be given back to their pardoned owners. In this, the blacks had missed an opportunity to own their land. Though everyone had equal rights, racial segregation continued with their being hotels for the whites and other for blacks. Some whites could not travel in the same taxis with the blacks. White vigilantes killed African men who did contrary to the law and none was ever charged for the extrajudicial killing.

Civil right groups, therefore, took an aggressive role to expose these evils and to assist the victims to get justice.”It is our pledge to make a lasting contribution to all that is finest and best in America, to cherish and enrich her heritage of freedom and progress by working for the integration of all her people regardless of race, creed, or national origin, into her spiritual, social, cultural, civic, and economic life, and thus aid her to achieve the glorious destiny of a true and unfettered democracy." This was a statement from the National Council of Negro Women. They were stressing the importance of all Americans including blacks to participate in national building.

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