Slaves and freemen built and operated the First African Church (See Below) in Richmond, Virginia some 40 years before the Civil War that would set them all free. They were not by law allowed to refer to themselves as Americans, ... ie they could refer to themselves as "negroes, colored, mulatto, n..... or Africans if born there."
Cora Lee Hill Atkins and many others in her generation were the beneficiaries of a growing number of ministers educated in the gospels, not the so-called bible studies that cite anything written and approved by King James as the "Word of God." She was well aware that King James I and the men at Cambridge who published the King James version of the bible in 1611, ... were also the same greedy hypocrites who sanctioned the murderous slave trade in 1619 between Africa and Jamestown.
In her reasoning, if these men were inspired by God, then so was the slave trade; and to believe one was to believe God as unjust. She believed in the God that Jesus prayed to, seldom the same that most preachers claimed to know.
Colleges like Fisk, Hampton, Howard, Lincoln, Union, etc. encouraged by White Presbyterians from New England and other sources of salvation, ... were busy educating ministers for hands-on functional evangelization and mission work. She often made reference to Booker T. Washington's close observance of preachers uneducated in the philosophy or teachings of Jesus. The kind unable to emulate and support Dr. King!
Cora Atkins would cite this fallacy as a reason that most Black preachers in America, including those in the National Baptist Convention, ... feared and avoided involvement and support for Dr. Martin Luther King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
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