Brief African American Religion in Society Paper
For this assignment, each student will conduct research to write a 4-6 page paper on one component of the history and culture of African American religion and its effects in the U.S. or across the globe.
You may choose to develop a research question in one of the following topics areas. Make sure that you present a question, then you can answer the question in your research.
Detroit’s Contribution to African American Religious Expression and Experience (see special note below)
African American Religion and Food
African American Religion and Women
African American Religion and Gender
African American Religion and the Human Body
African American Religion and Protest
African American Religion and Education
African American Religion and Health and Medicine
African American Persons of Faith and Multi-cultural Places of Worship
African American Religion and Popular Culture
The subject of your paper can be someone or something introduced in class (a key figure(s), an organization, an institution or a social or cultural feature or element of religious experience or spirituality). Your research must go beyond repeating information learned in the course.
Expand on that concept in any of the themes above as they related to African American religious experience or African-descended religious experience. Return to notes from early in the course to identify an aspect of religion and spirituality of interest to you.
Detroit option: Detroit’s Contribution to African American Religious Expression and Experience
Detroit has made distinct contributions to the development of contemporary African American religious expressions. It is the birthplace of both the Nation of Islam and Pan-African Orthodox Christianity (originally a Black Nationalist Christian sect). In addition, contemporary Black Liberation Theologies were sermonized and written in the city and at nearby Adrian College. Furthermore, Detroit has been one of the prominent North American homes of Spiritualist movements which allowed African American women a place for public leadership as well as enterprise. Then there are the extraordinary contributions of African American religious leadership to social justice including organized labor development.
For this assignment, each student will conduct research to write a 4-6-page paper on one component of this history. Specifically, students will write a paper that develops this theme:
During the twentieth century, Detroit held a unique place among northern Great Migration urban centers. Its industrial base helped to create the U.S. middle class, and the city and the region were the home of organized labor.
In your paper, select a key figure(s), an organization, an institution or a social or cultural component that help to make an argument about the unique way that the synthesis of Detroit’s race, class, and economic opportunity contribute to it becoming a home for innovative black religious expression.
This assignment is an opportunity to demonstrate what makes Detroit a national treasure relative to African American religion and culture. In other words, connect this figure or other subject to the overall Detroit context.