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The Gospel of Freedom (Hardback)

Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad

World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 306
Illustrations: 6 maps, 4 tables, 12 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 9780813195476
Published: 16th August 2022
Casemate UK Academic

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Wilbur H. Siebert published his landmark study of the Underground Railroad in 1898, revealing a secret system of assisted slave escapes. A product of his time, Siebert based his research on the accounts of white, male, northern abolitionists. While useful in understanding the northern boundaries of the slaves' journey, this account leaves out the complicated narrative of assistance below the Mason-Dixon Line. In The Gospel of Freedom: Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad, author Alicestyne Turley positions Kentucky as a crucial 'pass through' territory for escaping slaves and addresses the important contributions of white and Black antislavery southerners who united to form organised networks to assist slaves in the Deep South.

 

Drawing both on family history and lore, as well as a large range of primary sources, Turley shows how free and enslaved African Americans directly influenced efforts to physically and spiritually resist slavery and how slaves successfully developed their own systems to help others enslaved below the Mason-Dixon Line. Illuminating the roles of these black freedom fighters, Turley questions the validity of long-held conclusions based on Siebert's original work and suggests new areas of inquiry for further exploration. Picking up where other scholarship has left off, this book seeks to fill the historical gaps and promote the lost voices of the Underground Railroad, unveiling these invisible 'tracks' for the first time.

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