To Know the Soul of a People

captured the enslaved people's message of “death and suffering and unvoiced longing toward a truer world. .. .”55 Odum quoted Booker T. Washington in his dissertation: “the negro folk- songs fostered race pride and in the days of ...

To Know the Soul of a People

To Know the Soul of a People

To Know the Soul of a People is a history of religion and race in the agricultural South before the Civil Rights era. Jamil W. Drake chronicles a cadre of social scientists who studied the living conditions of black rural communities, framing the religious and cultural practices of the black communities as "folk" practices that needed to be reformed. Their framing of the religious cultures of rural blacks planted the seeds to the later idea ofthe "culture of poverty." To Know the Soul of a People is an exciting intellectual history that invites us to explore the knowledge that catalyzed the earnest yet shortsighted liberal efforts to reform black and impoverished communities.

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