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Grant number like: FA-55227-10

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Judith Weisenfeld
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2011

Black Prophets, Gods, and Utopian Visions: Religion and Racial Identity in the Great Migration

In this project I examine a number of early twentieth century black religious movements in the United States that proposed new ways of understanding black racial identity and destiny. In addition to charting the groups' varied strategies for rethinking racial meaning through a religious lens, I consider the movements' cultural impact and explore how their alternative claims about religion and racial destiny challenged mainstream black religious communities and resonated in black popular culture. At its core, this is a project about the public cultures of race in early 20th century black America and I examine the critical functions of religion in reconstructing black racial identity in both corporate and deeply private and individual ways. One of the work's major contributions lies in the attention I devote to tracing discussion within and across African American religious communities about understandings of race.