THE EMERGENCE OF FREE BLACK COMMUNITIES 5.3 FREE BLACK COMMUNITIES • After the Revolutionary War in the North and upper South many cities had a growing free black population • As theses communities acquired wealth and education they established institutions that shaped African American life FREE BLACK COMMUNITIES • Factors that encouraged the growth of these black institutions included… • The knowledge that they would be considered inferior to whites and be excluded from white groups • The desire to perpetuate African heritage BLACK SOCIETIES • The earliest black institutions were mutual aid societies • These groups provided medical and burial expenses as well as support for widows and children • These institutions became self improvement groups as well and encouraged the middle class aspirations of poor African Americans THE ORIGINS OF INDEPENDENT BLACK CHURCHES • Black churches emerged and eventually became the core of the African American community • Pastors became the primary African American leaders • Integrated churches that resulted from the Great Awakening often treated blacks as unequal to whites and led to the emergence of black churches THE FIRST INDEPENDENT BLACK CHURCH • The first independent black churches were founded in Philadelphia by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones • They were former slaves who had purchased their freedom and became preachers at St. George’s Church in Philadelphia • They were insulted by the white preacher’s segregation within the church and formed their own congregations THE FIRST INDEPENDENT BLACK CHURCHES • The black congregation split over differences of opinion and resulted in two black churches • The St. Thomas’s Episcopal church led by Jones and Mother Bethel’s church led by Allen • Allen’s church became the birthplace of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) which quickly spread to other cities THE FIRST BLACK SCHOOLS • Schools for African Americans, slave or free, date back to the 1700’s • These early schools were run by white priests, abolitionists and missionaries • The first African American led schools arose after the Revolution THE FIRST BLACK SCHOOLS • Philadelphia’s Mother Bethel church was the first school entirely run by African Americans • Threats of violence against black schools were common due to fear that an educated free black population would encourage slave revolts • Nevertheless, black schools continued to operate producing a growing class of literate African Americans ASSIGNMENT • 1. What factors led African Americans to form their own separate institutions? • 2. Describe the role of mutual aide societies in the black community. • 3. Why did black churches split from the integrated churches of the Great Awakening? • 4. What were the first independent black churches to form? Describe the role of Richard Allen and Absalom Jones. • 5. Who ran the first schools for black students? Why were the early black schools threatened?