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The End of DaysAfrican American Religion and Politics in the Age of Emancipation$
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Matthew Harper

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629360

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629360.001.0001

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A Table Prepared by Our Enemies

A Table Prepared by Our Enemies

(p.128) Chapter Five A Table Prepared by Our Enemies
The End of Days

Matthew Harper

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explains how black southerners interpreted early Jim Crow politics in light of the theological expectations they held from emancipation. Despite new forms of segregation, intensified racial violence, and disfranchisment efforts, black Protestants in North Carolina were encouraged by Fusion, a successful biracial political movement, and black autonomy in that state’s black regiment for the Spanish American War. Then, a devastating white supremacy campaign in 1898 left African Americans in mourning. Black Protestant leaders turned to the crucifixion narrative to make sense of the loss. Just as Jesus faced abandoned by God on the cross only days before his glorious resurrection, black southerners still had reason to hope. Their theological expectations forced them to see their own struggle for freedom as uninterrupted by the politics of Jim Crow.

Keywords:   Jim Crow era, Segregation, Disfranchisement, Wilmington race riot, Fusion, Spanish American War

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