I was greatly intrigued this week by the range of thoughts expressed by women in Sernett’s book of primary sources. I was particularly drawn to Jarena Lee and Maria Stewart due to their religious distinctions. Lee’s story is noteworthy because unlike other African Americans during this time, she tries multiple Christian denominations before deciding that she feels most accepted and righteous with the African Methodists (Presbyterian > Roman Catholic > English Church (Anglican) > African Episcopal Methodist). Throughout this passage, Jarena Lee remains humble and pious while always being aware that Satan was working as a sinful tempter. Meanwhile, in the excerpt from Maria Stewart, I could not help but notice similarities to the words written by Jupiter Hammon. While stated by Sernett that Stewart studied David Walker’s Appeals, she argues that there is no need to revolt against the slave masters. Rather than using her position of power to truly help her people, she insists that “all political discussions in our behalf [be dropped], for these, in my opinion, sow the seed of discord, and strengthen the cord of prejudice” (208). Like Hammon, Stewart makes the argument that no revolt is necessary on Earth because all are waiting for their justly reward in Heaven.
Seed of Discord
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