The black social gospel–formulated and given voice by abolitionists and post-reconstruction Black men and women–took the United States by storm in the last quarter...

The black social gospel–formulated and given voice by abolitionists and post-reconstruction Black men and women–took the United States by storm in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Black Christians were not the only ones involved in the black social gospel, though. Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien’s The New Abolition: W.E.B Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel (Yale University Press, 2018) argues that although Du Bois would not consider himself a black social gospel adherent, he was affected by the tradition and came to realize its importance in the milieu of social democracy. Dorrien uses black social gospel to chart an intellectual and theological map of the tradition that gave birth to the leader of one of America’s most radical social movements: Dr. Martin Luther King.


Adam McNeil is a soon-to-be PhD student and Colored Conventions Project Scholar at the University of Delaware. He received his M.A in History at Simmons College and B.S. in History at Florida A&M University. He can be reached on Twitter @CulturedModesty.

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