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The Azusa Street Mission and Historic Black Churches

The Azusa Street Mission and Historic Black Churches

Two Worlds in Conflict in Los Angeles’ African American Community

(p.21) 2 The Azusa Street Mission and Historic Black Churches
Cecil M. Robeck
NYU Press

This chapter looks at the African American community that made Los Angeles its home in 1906 and the churches that served that community. Focusing on the Azusa Street Mission and the revival that it hosted between April 1906 and the end of 1909, the chapter highlights the complexity of the social and religious culture that newly arriving blacks found in Los Angeles in the early twentieth century. It compares the Azusa Street Mission with the mainstream African American churches and shows that the former was the only congregation that attempted to meet the needs of blacks who were migrating in large numbers to Los Angeles at the time by providing comfortable worship patterns drawn on traditions of slave religion. It also considers the role of class and culture in the broader African American church community's rejection of the early Pentecostal revival in Los Angeles.

Keywords:   blacks, Azusa Street Mission, religious culture, Los Angeles, African American churches, worship, class, culture

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