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Racism in America's Churches: A Closer Look

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lenore L. Morales (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library
Advisor
Norman Layne

Abstract: A noteworthy but often overlooked social phenomenon in America today is the harboring of racist ideologies, conscious or unconscious, by church members who also hold to the Christian belief of love for all humankind. This paradoxical coexistence of logically contradictory ideologies is manifested in the segregation of church congregations, as well as in the personal lives of church members all over our nation, including Robeson County, North Carolina. My focus will be upon white racism, the exercise of prejudice and discrimination by white people toward people of color, particularly blacks. Certainly other types of racism exist, such as blacks toward whites, but I have chosen white racism as the object of my study in the interest of a workable topic and because of my perception of it as more pervasive and more readily observed than the other types. I became interested in this topic by observation of some white citizens of Robeson County who, while pillars of their respective churches, exhibited highly racist attitudes. I was compelled to understand how these people could justify their actions within the framework of their religious belief and commitment. Also of interest to me were the historical processes involved in producing segregated churches, particularly in the Baptist churches of Robeson County. My findings on these two issues are the main substance of this paper.

Additional Information

Publication
Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1989
Keywords
Race Relations – Religious Aspects – Christianity, United States – Race Relations, Racism, Churches, Robeson County, North Carolina