Document Type

Book Chapter


Religion (CGU)

Publication Date



African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Christianity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Religion


With the United States as primary context and point of reference, this essay aims to show how inextricably the modern world phenomena of nationalization, scriptures, and race have been inextricably woven together in the United States. The rhetorics and ideological and political orientation of Frederick Douglass offer an analytical wedge. A speech Douglass delivered in Washington, D.C., in 1883 was part of the celebration of the twentieth year of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, an event seen as an appropriate and meaning-charged occasion to take stock of the plight of black peoples in the country. His assessment that in the aftermath of the Civil War, black peoples, especially in the South, faced even more challenges with the establishment of new forms and styles of social, economic, and political slavery led Douglass to rail against the nation's conspiracy of "silence" around the "race" question.


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© 2009 Augsburg Fortress Publishers