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Mighty Like a RiverThe Black Church and Social Reform$
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Andrew Billingsley

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161793

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161793.001.0001

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The Crisis of Emancipation and Reconstruction in Savannah

The Crisis of Emancipation and Reconstruction in Savannah

Chapter:
(p.35) 4 The Crisis of Emancipation and Reconstruction in Savannah
Source:
Mighty Like a River
Author(s):

Andrew Billingsley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161793.003.0005

The black churches in Savannah responded in two distinct ways to the collapse of the Confederacy and the crisis of emancipation. They expanded their churches, and established an institutional hegemony in the black community that would last for more than a century and a half. These churches were functioning as social institutions as defined by Du Bois, Frazier, and C. Eric Lincoln. In addition, the church also moved resolutely into community action, thus executing the “communal” dimension of its mission as set forth by Lincoln and Mamiya. Education, business and economic development, and political action are among the areas of social reform in which churches were preeminent in the black community. After working hard and successfully to influence the state Legislature to establish the first college for blacks in Georgia, Emanuel King Love convinced the state authorities that Richard R. Wright Sr. should become this fledgling college's first president.

Keywords:   black church, Savannah, Confederacy, emancipation, education, business, economic development, political action, social reform, black community

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