John Giggie's After Redemption: Jim Crow And The Transformation Of

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In After Redemption: Jim Crow and the Transformation of African American Religion in the Delta, John Giggie attempts to bring forth light on the historical African American religious transformation. He pens his purpose best in his introduction. It reads “ this is a book about the religious transformation in the lives of ex-slaves and their descendants living in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta between the end of Reconstruction and the start of the Great Migration”(3). In this transformation, Giggie follows the period known to white Southerners as the “Redemption” period, but he proves that there is more than meets the eye about the movement if you were to scratch a little deeper beneath the surface. He investigates the how blacks were able to “[develop] a surprisingly rich and complex sacred culture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century”, despite the re-emergence of white Supremacy through Democratic Party and Jim Crow laws (5). Giggie utilizes church records, interviews from slaves, newspapers, oral expressions, and even recordings of black musical culture to help readers understand how blacks formed their religion during this period (18). Giggie is able to explore blacks’…show more content…
The narrative of rural blacks in the Mississippi and Arkansas delta between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the Great Migration is illustrated well. The basics of this period are well known, but Giggie takes his readers pass the usually portrayed white population and captures the highs and lows of the black population. The author uses a critical analysis, which is not without fault, to try to “ reperiodicize African American religious history” (4). However, with the vast amount of primary sources and engaging prose, this work is effective and should be read by historians and students
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