Activism in the Name of God
Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present
An extensive collection that highlights the contributions of often-forgotten Black women in the public sphere
Contributions by Janet Allured, Lisa Pertillar Brevard, Jami L. Carlacio, Cheryl J. Fish, Angela Hornsby-Gutting, Jennifer McFarlane-Harris, Neely McLaughlin, Darcy Metcalfe, Phillip Luke Sinitiere, P. Jane Splawn, Laura L. Sullivan, and Hettie V. Williams
Activism in the Name of God: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present recognizes and celebrates twelve Black feminists who have made an indelible mark not just on Black women’s intellectual history but on American intellectual history in general. The volume includes essays on Jarena Lee, Theressa Hoover, Pauli Murray, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs, to name a few. These women’s commitment to the social, political, and economic well-being of oppressed people in the United States shaped their work in the public sphere, which took the form of preaching, writing, singing, marching, presiding over religious institutions, teaching, assuming leadership roles in the civil rights movement, and creating politically subversive print and digital art. This anthology offers readers exemplars with whose minds and spirits we can engage, from whose ideas we can learn, and upon whose social justice work we can build.
The volume joins a burgeoning chorus of texts that calls attention to the creativity of Black women who galvanized their readers, listeners, and fellow activists to seek justice for the oppressed. Pushing back on centuries of institutionalized injustices that have relegated Black women to the sidelines, the work of these Black feminist public intellectuals reflects both Christian gospel ethics and non-Christian religious traditions that celebrate the wholeness of Black people.
"The essays in Activism in the Name of God provide granular studies of underrecognized Black women activists—such as Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Carrie Williams Clifford, and Theressa Hoover—that collectively offer a big-picture synthesis of the evolution of Black women’s activism since the nineteenth century."- Adam Lee Cilli, author of Canaan, Dim and Far: Black Reformers and the Pursuit of Citizenship in Pittsburgh, 1915–1945
"Activism in the Name of God is an excellent contribution to Black women’s intellectual history. The book’s focus on the role of religion and spirituality provides a unique entry point to understanding how Black women have used their faith to guide their steps as social, political, and economic activists from the abolition of chattel slavery to the rise of #BlackLivesMatter."- Tejai Beulah Howard, assistant professor of history, ethics, and Black church and African diaspora studies at Methodist Theological School in Ohio