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Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1978
John Wiley & Sons / 1997 / Hardcover
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Good sermons act as the moral compass of their times. And so the discovery of these thirty-eight never-before-published sermons by black women preachers is an invaluable find, enabling us to explore the critical path taken in the struggle against racial and gender inequality, poverty and moral decay. This book fills an important gap in our understanding of African American experience by providing the long overdue access to the original text of the sermons coupled with expert contextual analysis by Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, a respected scholar of African History. This book brings together the voices of fourteen black women preachers along with historical and biographical information that places them in the context of their times. Spanning the days of slavery on through the long struggle to gain the most basic of civil rights, these remarkable women deliver messages of hope and faith that cut to the heart and moved their followers. The women represented here include figures known to scholars and women who have gone unnoticed despite their great impact. Encompassing themes ranging from racial and gender discrimination in the church and society to the tenets of their shared theology, their sermons reveal women of great faith, courage, and wisdom.
A priceless reference work in the history of Christian preaching that will revitalize the preaching of the twenty first century.
--Cheryl TownsAnd Gilkes, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur associate professor of African American studies and sociology, Colby College
This historic collection of never-before-published sermons by African American women preachers gives voice to the long-ignored founding mothers of the African American church. It provides long overdue access to the original text of the sermons coupled with expert contextual analysis by Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, a respected scholar of African American history.
These sermons reveal women of great faith, courage, and wisdom and cover a range of topics, from racial and gAnder discrimination in the church and society to the tenets of their shared theology. Addressing causes and issues of Anduring importance, these sermons still resonate today and help us to understand the past.
In a special chapter, Collier-Thomas tells the story of the earliest black women preachers who, while their sermons have yet to be unearthed, greatly influenced both their contemporaries and those who followed by their courageous claiming of the pulpit.
Daughters of Thunder sheds new light on an important chapter in American history. Preachers will find within these pages inspiration for their own sermons.
Bettye Collier-Thomas is associate professor of history and director of the Temple University Center for African American History and Culture.
BETTYE COLLIER-THOMAS is associate professor of history and director of the Temple University Center for African American History and Culture. She is the founding executive director of the Bethune Museum-Archives, Inc., the first institution in the United States to focus on the documentation and preservation of African American women's history. Collier-Thomas's research focuses on African American women, popular culture, and religion.
"This book is hard evidence that the churches have been deprived of a rich resource by their reluctance to receive women preachers. . . . These messages ring with passion and sincerity . . . they break through our narrow limits and speak generously about things that matter most." (Samuel D. Proctor, Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
"An original, distinguished, and matchless contribution to a greatly neglected study." (Ella Pearson Mitchell, former dean of the chapel at Spelman College and mentor with the doctoral program at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio)
"Daughters of Thunder is a singular event in women's history, particularly African American women's history. . . . A priceless reference work in the history of Christian preaching that will revitalize the preaching of the twenty first century." (Cheryl TownsAnd Gilkes, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur associate professor of African American studies and sociology, Colby College)
"A sensitive, well-researched reevaluation of the contributions of African American women to the spiritual development of our culture." (C. Eric Lincoln, William Kenan Rand Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture (emeritus), Duke University)
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