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J. W. E. Bowen (John Wesley Edward), 1855-1933
Africa and the American Negro: Addresses and Proceedings of the Congress on Africa: Held under the Auspices of the Stewart Missionary Foundation for Africa of Gammon Theological Seminary in Connection with the Cotton States and International Exposition December 13-15, 1895
Atlanta: Gammon Theological Seminary, 1896.


By the 1890s, the European powers of Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Turkey had successfully partitioned Africa. Europe's imperial achievement caused American evangelists to be concerned for Africa's spiritual future. Thus in 1895 Gammon Theological Seminary, a well-known school for African-Americans, sponsored a Congress on Africa in Atlanta, Ga. as part of The Cotton States and International Exposition. Evangelists and those concerned about the spiritual welfare of Africa gathered from across the country to deliver papers on various topics, including the political and cultural condition of Africa and the responsibility of African-Americans to perform missionary work in Africa. This work, edited by J. W. E. Bowen, a professor of historical theology at Gammon and a former field agent for the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, offers a fascinating look at the colonial partition of Africa and the generally held view of the Congress's speakers that colonization provided an opportunity to promote Christianity and its civilizing influence in Africa.

Brent Kinser

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