Politics of Accommodation and Resistance in the Black Church. A Gramscian Analysis

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This study argues that the church has the capability of fostering ideological resistance to the dominant order and therefore making a profound contribution to the sociopolitical liberation of Black Americans. By developing this position using qualitative research methods in three African-American churches, the work confirms the reality of this potential, showing that a counter-hegemonic approach to church in the Black community is possible. This is significant because many politically active scholars, even African-American radicals, disparage the institution as a politically destructive hegemonic organization that misuses social and economic resources. This study will interest those interested in African-American church and culture, sociology, urban ethnography, social history, and the sociology of religion.


“His analysis presents a critical history of African-American leadership and the production of culture from Douglass to Wells, to leaders such as Garvey and Abbott and more recently Reverend King, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. . . . This research will become a classical study of the African-American community that links the traditions of African-American scholarship, urban ethnography, and critical social theory. . . . mandatory reading for students of race, ethnicity, and urban life as well as for progressive social theory.” – Lauren Langman

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. The Black Struggle and the Italian Revolutionary: Gramsci, the Revolutionary and Social Theorist; Gramscian Thought and the Study of the Black Church
2. The Ideas of Black Chicago: Migration and Ideology 1840’s-1916; 1916-1930;1930-Present
3. The Production of Ideology at Asbury Street Church of God in Christ; Christian Friends; and West Side Temple
4. A Theologically Conservative, Politically Radical Ideology of Black Liberation: The Black Church – A Historical Hegemonic Institution; A Potentially Counter-hegemonic Institution
Appendix: the Field Work and Research Design
Works cited; Index

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