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Title page for ETD etd-11192015-152948

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author VanDevere, Mariann J
Author's Email Address mariann.j.vandevere@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-11192015-152948
Title Views on the Black Megachurch: Du Bois, the Tuskegee Machine and World Changers Church International
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Prof. Hortense Spillers Committee Chair
Prof. Mark Wollaeger Committee Member
  • word of faith
  • prosperity gospel
  • black megachurch
  • Booker T. Washington
  • megachurch
  • The Negro Church
  • The Souls of Black Folk
Date of Defense 2015-06-01
Availability unrestricted
In his study, The Negro Church, published in 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois prophesized the black church as the driving force behind racial uplift. Subsequently, he posited the Negro preacher as the prominent figure in obtaining equality for the black man in America. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the figurehead of the Civil Rights Movement can be read as the fulfillment of prophesy proclaimed by Du Bois. During his lifetime, Du Bois condemned contemporary intellectual, Booker T. Washington. He was critical of Washington’s accommodationist views, as well as Washington’s intense desire to remain the spokesperson for the Negro race, which led Washington to blacklist other Negro leaders in order to maintain his status. Du Bois called Washington, his desire, and his institute, The Tuskegee Machine. The black preacher is no longer fulfilling the role that Du Bois predicted but rather he is becoming susceptible to the same criticisms that Du Bois constructed about Washington and the Tuskegee Institute. In this thesis, I apply the sociohistorical criteria of Du Bois’ The Negro Church and his criticism of Tuskegee Machine to Rev. Dr. Creflo Dollar’s World Changers Church International (1981 – present) to highlight how Du Bois’ vision of the black church, which he argued emerged as a challenge to the socioeconomic status quo in the United States, has now become an extension of it.
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