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Embracing ProtestantismBlack Identities in the Atlantic World$
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John W. Catron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061634

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061634.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Embracing Protestantism

John W. Catron

University Press of Florida

In the process of becoming African Americans, people of African descent also developed Atlantic-African Christian identities, eschewing attachments to rigid political boundaries that whites were then forming and instead recombining into a more extra-nationalist grouping. Rather than being African American or Afro-British, they were transnational Afro-Methodists, Afro-Baptists, and Afro-Moravians whose connections to the religions of their homelands in Africa as well as international religious organizations in Britain and Europe gave them far more fluid identities. Spurning the racially exclusionary tendencies of the newly rising nation states, late eighteenth-century Anglophone black Christians did not initially become African Americans: they were, instead, Atlantic Africans who used the skills they had acquired while living and working along the Atlantic littoral to negotiate better living conditions for their families and kin from a slave society that was at the time just entering one of its most brutally productive stages.

Keywords:   Atlantic-Africans, Afro-Moravians, Afro-Methodists, Black Christians

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