Date of Award

7-1-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Africana Women's Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Beletia Diamond

Third Advisor

Dr. Philip Dunston

Abstract

This study explores how racial and religious identities are impacted and subsequently reconciled among Black women who join the historically White Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia. This study was based upon the premise that the African-American religious aesthetic and the Black Church shape racial and religious identities. Therefore, identity reconciliation among Black LDS women who previously attended the Black church is jeopardized. A mixed-methods research approach was used to measure Black women’s ability to reconcile their racial and religious identities. The data gathered enabled the researcher to broadly determine the degree to which reconciliation is achieved among Black LI)S women. The researcher found that the diminutive presence of the African-American religious aesthetic in the LDS Church did not considerably influence identity reconciliation among Black LDS women . This finding is significant as it will help to inform future studies about identity reconciliation among Black people who join historically White religious institutions as well as the viability of the Black Church as a resource for spiritual and racial identity cultivation among Black people.