African-American religious leaders : A to Z of African Americans /
Nathan Aaseng.
New York, NY : Facts On File, c2003.
viii, 264 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0816048789 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York, NY : Facts On File, c2003.
0816048789 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 248-249) and indexes.
A Look Inside
First Chapter
Religion and spirituality have been key elements of African-American life since the earliest days of the slave trade, when Negro spiritual songs helped keep alive the flame of human dignity under the most oppressive conditions. For many decades, spiritual convictions were the driving force behind many successful African-American pioneers and were important forces holding families together against the disruptive forces of society. In more recent times, African-American religious leaders directed and inspired the Civil Rights movement and awakened a new sense of identity.
African-American Religious Leaders profiles many leaders, from the most famous, such as Martin Luther King Jr., and Elijah Muhammad, to others whose influence has been less publicized. Those profiled have been drawn from a vast range of pursuits and include civil rights activists, founders of the African-American churches, compassionate lay leaders, dynamic preachers, pioneers in the ecclesiastical realms previously reserved for whites, workers for social justice, missionaries, and even ordained celebrities from the entertainment world who carry a spiritual message in their interactions with the public. Broad in scope, leaders from a wide variety of faiths and persuasions are covered, including important figures from mainstream Christian denominations, African-American Christian denominations, Islam, Black Muslim, Voodoo, and mystic religions. An informative and fascinating resource for both serious students and general readers alike, each entry provides a brief biographical sketch of the leader and goes on to address the major achievements, events, and contributions of the leader to his or her followers and society at large. A general bibliography, two subject indexes (one by religious affiliation, one by year of birth), a general index, and approximately 50 black-and-white photographs complement the text.
Profiles include:
Ralph Abernathy: Baptist clergy, political activist
Ben Ami Ben-Israel: founder of the Black Hebrews
Father Divine: founder and leader of Peace Mission
Thomas Andrew Dorsey: gospel music founder
Catherine Williams Ferguson: Sunday School pioneer
Barbara Clementine Harris: Episcopalian bishop
Martin Luther King Jr.: Baptist clergy, civil rights leader
Adam Clayton Powell Jr.: Baptist clergy, politician
Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate: Pentecostal leader
Charleszette Waddles: visionary, humanitarian
Jeremiah Wright Jr.: United Church of Christ clergy, theologian
and many others.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-03-01:
Aaseng's second work in the "A to Z of African Americans" series provides a valuable collection of biographical sketches about influential African American religious leaders. He profiles more than 150 familiar and lesser-known individuals who were pioneers or trailblazers--past and present founders of African American churches, clergymen, bishops, missionaries, evangelists, denomination leaders, theologians, and ordained entertainers. Each entry lists titles for further reading; some include a photograph. The work also contains a list of entries, a bibliography, a list of entries by religious affiliation, a list of entries by year of birth, and a general index. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers of all ages. N. M. Allen University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, February 2004
Reference & Research Book News, February 2004
Choice, March 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Nathan Aaseng profiles many African American religious leaders, from the most famous to those less publicised. This work covers a wide range of pursuits, from dynamic preachers & missionaries to ordained celebrities, & different faiths from Christianity & Islam to Voodoo.
Unpaid Annotation
Religion and spirituality have been key elements of African-American life since the earliest days of the slave trade
Unpaid Annotation
A to Z biographical entries covering important African Americans whose work as religious leaders has had an impact on American society. Includes 2 subject indexes, further reading lists, bibliography, general introduction, and general index.

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