Pulpits and Bones: African-American Vistas of Action, Innovation, and Tradition

Author(s): Christopher Fennell

Year: 2018


The cultural landscapes of African-American communities in the nineteenth century were often anchored with a church, cemetery, and school. Sectarian and secular dynamics interacted in shaping the terrains of those social networks. This presentation explores such developments in the impacts of religious beliefs, practices, and congregations on the strategic locations and configurations of churches and cemeteries before and after the Civil War, with a focus on the Midwest region. For example, the founding and placement of African Methodist Episcopal churches in the antebellum period often aided escape routes from slavery. Cemeteries could provide spaces for continuing developments of African heritage practices. In landscapes where residential and commercial environments could at times be racially integrated, churches and graveyards often remained segregated.  

Cite this Record

Pulpits and Bones: African-American Vistas of Action, Innovation, and Tradition. Christopher Fennell. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441769)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 185