Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 March 2021
This chapter is about the religious sensibilities preached from pulpits and printed in black periodicals that shaped the philosophical and political aims of early African American writing. It examines the preaching and writing lives of eminent black clergy active between 1800 and 1830 and highlights their organizational networks within the Free African Society, the American Colonization Society, Prince Hall Freemasonry and a number of mutual aid societies. This chapter sets out to understand how, out of an inchoate black liberation theology, a black Protestant inheritance came to incorporate early African American literature, speech and non-fiction prose. The transitions under exploration include the coalescence of a liberating theology in early nineteenth century black religion.