LISTEN: African Art, Pt 1; Churches of Free Negroes, Pt 4; The Reaction (1820-1865), Pt 1 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #26 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Since it is hard to separate Black American history and Black Church history I am combining the two because they are so intertwined. As many of you know, the church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Scripture verse for today is Ephesians 3:20-21 which reads: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, “Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens.” He said, The nature of the Christian message is one that, when properly understood and applied, gives meaning to life. The church, with its message of hope and its vision of humankind that are abstracted from a biblical viewpoint, makes a profound impact on the believer. The church and its message actually give new meaning to life. This meaning in turn gives a direction to life.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “The African Way of Life — The Arts (Part 1)” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

In some areas of art, Africans attained a high degree of expression. In carvings and sculptures of wood, stone, and ivory, their work displayed an originality both in technique and subject matter that marked them clearly as a people with an abundant capacity for aesthetic expression. There was, of course, a great degree of variation from place to place in the level of expression attained, but hardly any community failed to show some inclination toward the use of certain art forms. Benin bronze and brass works of rosettes, doorplates, and metal vases reflect great skill in the use of this difficult medium. Among the Yoruba the delicacy of form seen in the terra-cotta pieces is a testimonial to the rare artistry that these people possessed. The statuettes of people and animals widely used by African communities in religious rites serve as a reminder that almost everywhere some Africans concerned themselves with artistic activities. From Timbuktu to the Congo there was considerable work in wood, gold, silver, ivory, clay, and the like, and it cannot be denied that many of these pieces bear witness to the fact that African art was not only indigenous but also worthy of the name.

Our second topic for today is “The Institutional Church of the Free Negroes, Part 4” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier. He writes:

The relation of the free Negroes to the white Christian churches may be seen first in the activities of the early Negro preachers and their relations with white congregations. This was natural since, as we have seen, the Negro preacher slave as well as free, occupied a dominant position in the religious activities of Negroes. The traditional African priesthood had disappeared and a church organization only grew up gradually among the Negroes.

Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at the section titled, “Reaction — 1820 to 1865”


In the critical era of 1820-65, slavery became an extremely important part of the South’s economy. First, in the industrial revolution that took place, the invention of the cotton gin increased a slave’s ability to clean cotton by 50 pounds a day. New machines like the wool-comber, spinning jenny, and steam engine played their part in increasing the slave’s value. For those who stooped so low, slave breeding became a lucrative practice. This had a great demoralizing effect upon the Blacks who had practically no family life as it was. New machines meant greater production; this required more slaves, who, in turn, became more valuable.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

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