Elizabeth L. JemisonMar 30, 2021
Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Postemancipation South
University of North Carolina Press 2020
Elizabeth L. Jemison, who teaches American religious history at Clemson University, South Carolina, has written an outstanding new book, Christian Citizens: Reading the Bible in Black and White in the Post-Emancipation South (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Focusing on the Lower Mississippi River Valley, and working from the 1860s to 1900, Jemison explains how white and African-American protestants developed strikingly different accounts of Christian citizenship. Paying attention to the variety of perspective within and between the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations, and to the perspectives of men and women, Jemison asks troubling questions about white violence and the religious character of the segregated society to which the white protestant counter-revolution eventually led.
Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.