Christianity is an essential part of the women’s slave narratives that were read thus far. As slaves bounded by their foreign masters, the religion of Christianity has shaped the black community’s way of thinking and their way of life as a whole. While the majority of slaves converted to Christianity, the women were very passionate with their Christian faith as they used it as a fundamental anchor to allow them to keep hope alive in times of struggle and strife. The three narratives that are chosen to illustrate this role of Christianity within the lives of slave women are the narratives of Memoir of Old Elizabeth: a Coloured Woman, A Slave Girl’s Story: Being and Autobiography of Kate Drumgoold, and Memories of Childhood’s Slavery Days by Annie L. Burton.
In the narrative Memoir of Old Elizabeth, Old Elizabeth used Christianity throughout her text as her Christian faith was a fundamental part of her life and experience. Old Elizabeth was one of the first if not the first female ministers to teach the word of God to her peers. This feat was indeed a challenge to overcome for someone of her race as well as gender as in her time women were forbidden to preach to the masses. As she describes her revelations and prayers to God, the use of Christianity is very prevalent within the text from beginning to end as an example in one part of the text as she says:
I own I am a sinner in Thy sight, and not fit to live where thou art. Still it was my fervent desire that the Lord would pardon me. Just at this season, I saw with my spiritual eye an awful gulf of misery. As I thought I was about to plunge into it, I heard a voice saying, “rise up and pray,” which strengthened me…My spirit was then taught to pray, “Lord have mercy on me—Christ ...
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...ucation and used their faith to uproot the oppressed black race of their time. Whether through song, literature, poetry, or missionary work, these women of slavery became empowered by the grace of God in one shape or another and truly used their faith to strengthen their will to pursue their calling for the greater good.
Burton, Annie L. Memories of Childhood’s Slavery Days by Annie L. Burton. Six Women's Slave Narratives. Edited by William L. Andrews. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1988.
Drumgoold, Kate. A Slave Girl’s Story: Being and Autobiography of Kate Drumgoold. Six Women's Slave Narratives. Edited by William L. Andrews. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1988.
Thompson, Dr. L.S. Memoir of Old Elizabeth: a Coloured Woman. Six Women's Slave Narratives. Edited by William L. Andrews. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1988.