[Gender and the Afro-American Religious Tradition] (audio)

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Cheryl Gilkes presentation, A Mother to the Motherless: Language, Biblical Texts, and Afro-American Cultural Imagination

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Society for the Study of Black Religion Collection

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In this audio recording Cheryl Gilkes presents a paper on gender and the Afro-American religious tradition. She discusses the suffering and religious imagination of Afro-American women. She also discusses the relationship of women with the four pillars of the Afro-Christian tradition; preaching, music, praying, singing and testifying. Included in her presentation are Rev. C.L. Franklin, and Mahalia Jackson.

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00:00:09 Audio begins with Cheryl Gilkes making preliminary remarks on paper and its relationship with gender.

00:00:50 She talks about Church of God in Christ Bishop Oswald T. Jones writing about the proper place of women in the church.

00:04:13 Talks about paper exploring women and the way in which women’s experiences have been essential resources for the construction of tradition and traditional religious knowledge and also the four pillars of Afro-Christian religious tradition; preaching, praying, singing and testifying.

00:14:57 Talks about how the Afro-American religious imagination is a biblical imagination and generations of African Americans that endured slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, urban migration and the civil rights eras biblical interpretation.

00:27:49 Talks about how Rev. C.L. Franklin and others locate the problem of Black suffering through direct or indirect use of women’s discourse and testimony to the actual experience of suffering shared by Black women.

00:39:20 Talks about women in the gospel music tradition (mother to the motherless and father to the fatherless) and surely our God is able.

00:52:16 Talks about gender in the Afro-American Christian tradition and creative tension.

00:56:38 Audio ends.


The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.


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