The Wayward Preacher in the Literature of African American Women

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About the Book

In African American culture the preacher has traditionally held many roles: minister of faith, orator, politician, idealist, and most importantly, leader. But the preacher was also traditionally male, and in many ways this advanced the perception that African American women were incapable of questioning the authority of black men.
Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Paule Marshall, Gloria Naylor, and Terry McMillan wrote of flawed African American preachers, empowering their female characters by exposing the notion of the black preacher as beyond reproach. The writings of these five women warn African American women—and society as a whole—of the power of the religious functionaries who insist that the self must be virtually obliterated in order for salvation to be attained.

About the Author(s)

James Robert Saunders is a professor of English at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

James Robert Saunders
Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 175
Bibliographic Info: annotated bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017 [1995]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6965-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2831-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“worthwhile”—The English Association; “useful insights into one of the most prominent figures in African American culture”—Choice; “very interesting…scholarly”—Feminist Bookstore News; “absorbing”—Michigan Today.