Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979

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9780787909185: Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979
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A priceless reference work in the history of Christian preaching that will revitalize the preaching of the twenty first century.
--Cheryl TownsAnd Gilkes, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur associate professor of African American studies and sociology, Colby College

This historic collection of never-before-published sermons by African American women preachers gives voice to the long-ignored founding mothers of the African American church. It provides long overdue access to the original text of the sermons coupled with expert contextual analysis by Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, a respected scholar of African American history.

These sermons reveal women of great faith, courage, and wisdom and cover a range of topics, from racial and gAnder discrimination in the church and society to the tenets of their shared theology. Addressing causes and issues of Anduring importance, these sermons still resonate today and help us to understand the past.

In a special chapter, Collier-Thomas tells the story of the earliest black women preachers who, while their sermons have yet to be unearthed, greatly influenced both their contemporaries and those who followed by their courageous claiming of the pulpit.

Daughters of Thunder sheds new light on an important chapter in American history. Preachers will find within these pages inspiration for their own sermons.

Bettye Collier-Thomas is associate professor of history and director of the Temple University Center for African American History and Culture.

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Review:

Though religion and the church have always played an important role in the lives of black Americans, the role that black women have played in the church is not as well known. Daughters of Thunder, a collection of 38 sermons by 14 black women preachers from the 1850s to the 1970s, is thus an important resource: it offers the voices of black women on matters both theological and political. As editor Bettye Collier-Thomas, an associate professor of history at Temple University, tells us, these women are "representative of a great American tradition heretofore largely unknown and untapped." In addition to the sermons, Collier-Thomas gives readers a historical summary of the work of black women preachers, as well as a chapter on black women preachers for whom she was able to find no sermons. There are also brief biographies for each of the 14 women whose sermons are included.

From the Inside Flap:

Good sermons act as the moral compass of their times. And so the discovery of these thirty-eight never-before-published sermons by black women preachers is an invaluable find, enabling us to explore the critical paths taken in the struggle against racial and gAnder inequality, poverty, and moral decay. This books fills an important gap in our understanding of the African American experience by providing long overdue access to the original text of the sermons coupled with expert contextual analysis by Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, a respected scholar of African American history. Daughters of Thunder brings together the voices of fourteen black women preachers along with historical and biographical information that places them in the context of their times. Spanning the days of slavery on through the long struggle to gain the most basic of civil rights, these remarkable women delivered messages of hope and faith that cut to the heart and moved their followers. The women represented here include figures well known to scholars of African American church history, like Julia Foote and Amanda Berry Smith. They also include women who have gone unnoticed in the history books of America—like Ida Robinson and Florence Spearing Randolph—despite the great impact they had on their contemporaries and the shape of today's Church. Encompassing themes ranging from racial and gAnder discrimination in the church and society to the tenets of their shared theology, their sermons reveal women of great faith, courage, and wisdom. Through their sermons, these daughters of thunder pointed the way to a more just society based on their deep faith and understanding of scripture. Addressing causes and issues of Anduring importance, these sermons will resonate with today's readers—as they help us to understand the past. Despite many differences, the sermons share a unifying theme of providing strategies for understanding and living with the tension between the reality of human imperfecti

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