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Grant number like: FT-57914-10

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Charles Frederick Irons
Elon University (Elon, NC 27244-9423)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

Uneven Exodus: The Segregation of Southern Evangelicalism, 1863-1872

Black Southerners during and after the Civil War left biracial churches and constituted racially segregated congregations. In recounting this story, scholars have ignored the large number of blacks who remained in fellowship with Southern whites for months or even years. This project gives attention both to those who left biracial churches and to those who stayed in them. By including African Americans from across the ecclesiastical spectrum, this study complicates the standard narrative of ecclesiastical separation as (1) a universally held goal among black Southerners at the time of the Civil War and (2) a proxy for black political self-determination. A careful examination of the drawn-out process through which black Southerners built their own churches will reveal a great deal both about the diversity of African-American aspirations after emancipation and about the various factors which enabled or inhibited the realization of those dreams.