chapter  11
20 Pages

Evangelism as Political Protest in Nineteenth Century African Diaspora: Appraising Julia Foote’s Spiritual Autobiography, A Brand Plucked from the Fire

BySAMANTHA MANCHESTER EARLEY

In her spiritual autobiography, A Brand Plucked from the Fire,2 Julia Foote discusses her early childhood experience in the African Methodist tradition in Albany, New York, and her subsequent life journey to become a preacher. A Brand Plucked from the Fire, which specifi cally and continuously references the Old Testament book of Zechariah,3 details not only Foote’s call to embrace Christianity and eventually preach, but also stands as Foote’s exhortation to African American women to accept nothing less than equal, civil rights. In this case, Foote is advocating that women and African Americans be allowed equal access to social institutions such as education, government, the judicial system, and so on. Moreover, she strongly believes that in order to allow this access, social policies, such as segregation, must be dismantled immediately. She realizes that the system she lives in does not allow all human beings to work, live, and thrive-to operate at their fullest human potential. Changing access to the power structure, that is, opening the social, political, and economic institutions for women and all ethnic/ racial minorities to exist and fl ourish within them, would bring the United States’ practices in line with its egalitarian principles as stated in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.