Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights
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Release Date: Thursday, January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback, 312 pages 6 x 9 inches
Publisher: Fortress Press
Table of Contents
After a chapter exploring black women's religious context and
presenting early examples of this work by women of the ante-bellum
and post-Reconstruction eras, Ross looks at seven civil rights
activists who continue this tradition. They are Ella Josephine Baker,
Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Way DeLee, Clara
Muhammad, Diane Nash, and Ruby Doris Smith Robinson.
In a fascinating narrative style that draws on biography, social
history, and original archival research, Ross shows how their moral
formation and work reflect both womanist consciousness and practices
of witness and testimony, both emergent from the black religious
Ross' major work is engrossing history and moving ethical challenge.
Examining black women's civil rights activism as religiously impelled
moral practices brings a new insight to work on the movement and
lifts up a paradigm for engagement in the mountainous challenges of
contemporary social life.
"This is an excellent example of womanist theological studies. Ross cogently argues the moral logic and religious convictions of seven African American women who played decisive roles in the Civil Rights Movement. Ross' lucid cognitive maps offer important and long overdue assessments of each woman's moral agency and the milieu in which she worked as a doer-of-justice. The force with which Ross clarifies concretely the race, sex, class indignities as they arise in the context of the Civil Rights Movement is of utmost importance. On the whole, a much needed testimony."
Katie G. Cannon, Ph.D.
Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary-PSCE
"By examining the lives and faith of key Black women leaders, Rosetta Ross reminds us that Black women have never been afraid to step out in faith and to step up to the challenge a moral moment presents and to change things."
Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
- Religion and Public Life: Early Traditions of Black Religious Women's Activism
Working for Survival and Liberation: Racial Uplift and Social Responsibility
Womanist Theology and "Keeping on Down the Freedom Road"
Witnessing and Testifying
Sojourner Truth: A Black Religious Woman's Antebellum Activism
Nannie Helen Burroughs: A Turn-of-the-Century Activist
- Continuing the Traditions: Attention to the "Least" in Civil Rights Activism
Ella Baker: Passing on Values of Attending to the "Least"
Septima Poinsette Clark: Education for Citizenship
Empowering Local People as a Moral Value
- Giving the Movement Life: Black Women's Grassroots Activism
Fannie Lou Hamer: Realizing Promises of Religious Faith and Hope
Victoria Way DeLee: Community Activism as Religious Practice
Self-Realization as Moral Practice from a Grassroots Perspective
- Clara Muhammad: Supporting Movement Ideas Outside Its Mainstream
Clara Muhammad and the Nation of Islam
Religious and Moral Influences in Muhammad's Early Life
Muhammad's Role in the Development of the Nation of Islam
Muhammad's Religious and Moral Perspectives
- "Fire Shut Up in My Bones": Black Women Students in the Movement
Diane Nash: Passionate Agitation for Positive Quality of Life
Ruby Doris Smith Robinson: Building Community and Sustaining Community Protest
Nash and Robinson: Young Visionary Activists
- Testimony, Witness, and Civic Life: The Meaning of Black Women's Civil Rights Participation
Testifying and Witnessing
Values and Virtues: Models and Practices in Black Religious Women's Activism
Black Religious Women and Public Life
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