Abstract

The Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church is a historically black church rooted in the South that was established in 1870. The church had been viewed historically as an "old slavery" church, due to its close relationship to the White Methodist Episcopal Church (formerly Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS). The history of the denomination encouraged the view that CME churches and schools had not been active in the Civil Rights Movement. Closer research into the denomination's archives from 1954, when the church changed its name from "Colored" to "Christian" up to the 1970s, when the movement transitioned, challenges that interpretation. From the individual activist leaders across the South, to CME-affiliated historically black colleges associated with the black student movement, and the work of members of local congregations, the CME church can be shown to have been at the forefront of the movement. By focusing on three groups—CME leaders, church affiliated colleges, and a local congregation—this thesis argues that activism took many forms. Narrowly defining what constitutes civil rights activism risks overlooking important figures in the movement and failing to acknowledge the struggles individuals and church communities faced in the struggle to end disfranchisement and Jim Crow segregation. Understanding the role of the CME church in the Civil Rights Movement calls for expanding the meaning of the word activism to include acts of defiance and courage less well-understood.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Graduation Date

2019

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Lester, Connie

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

History

Degree Program

History; Public History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007843

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007843

Language

English

Release Date

December 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2019; it will then be open access.

Share

COinS