Times have changed for Black America when before the Civil War, it was illegal in many states to learn to read and write. While most of White America did not attend college, it was an opportunity if the family had means. It was however, a big challenge for Blacks. So after the war, when slavery was abolished and they were given more freedom to live as they choose, the church was an option and many Black families attended. Within these churches, they learned to read and write through studying the Bible. And since the “good book” was also a history book, a book of laws, a cultural journal and a vast literary work of proverbs, prophesy and poetry, becoming a scholar became an option for religious Blacks. The evolution of the church brought us great leaders like Martin Luther King and gospel singers like Mahalia Jackson and of course a rich music legacy of soul, rhythm and blues, funk, rap and good ‘ol rock ‘n ‘roll.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:
Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278
Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4
Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA