Go Tell it On the Mountain

Interrelation between Black Piety and Racial Oppression in “Go Tell It On The Mountain” 12th Grade

Religion and spirituality are significant facets in the African-American communities as the church has been an emblem of power and freedom from the period of slavery into the civil rights era. Go Tell It on the Mountain as a fictional autobiography by James Baldwin covers themes of religion and race and expounds on the role of the church in the black community both destructively and positively. The story revolves around John’s relationship to his family, the church, and his struggle with his sexual identification and spirituality. Moreover, biblical references are a constant occurrence in the novel, and the language in the book resembles that of the King James Bible. Baldwin utilizes the religious experiences of the characters to examine the connection between issues of race and African-American faith tradition, and subsequently its impact. Racial oppression of minorities has been part of the social struggles in the African-American community especially during the period portrayed in Go Tell it On the Mountain. Though the church imparted the notion of deliverance from slavery and poverty through biblical narratives, it was also used by slave-owners to control African-American slaves to emphasize compliance and docility....

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1190 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9197 literature essays, 2397 sample college application essays, 405 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in