The Bible in Urban Communities

In the history of the African American religious experience in America, the Bible has played a key role!

At the turn of the 20th century, the American Bible Society helped make Bibles accessible to home missionaries in the South and delivered Bibles door to door, on street corners, in rail stations, and even saloons in the urban south.

Efforts were significantly enhanced by black churches encouraging their distribution—providing for many African Americans an opportunity for literacy!

In 1999, the American Bible Society released the African American
Jubilee Edition of the Bible in ceremonies across the country in the Contemporary English Version as well as the King James Version. It included essays “celebrating the black church experience,” describing the distinctive worship, preaching and music that define black churches.

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