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Sara J. Duncan
Progressive Missions in the South and Addresses with Illustrations and Sketches of Missionary Workers and Ministers and Bishops' Wives
Atlanta, Ga.: The Franklin Printing and Publishing Company, 1906.


Sara J. Duncan of Selma, Alabama was General Superintendent of the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church and Episcopal Secretary of the Sixth District for ten consecutive years. She published Progressive Missions in the South and Addresses in 1906 as "a sketch of the doings and labors of the women of our race"(8). Directed toward an African American readership at large, Duncan intends this work to be of specific benefit to black women and tellingly ends her dedication, "To the young women who write and ask prayers and encouragement, and all into whose hands this little volume may chance to fall, with the prayer for the highest literacy, moral and spiritual excellence that can come to a race of useful women, is this dedicated."

Progressive Missions includes a large collection of biographical sketches of missionary workers and clergy, addresses regarding A.M.E. Church missions, reports, and illustrations relevant to the subject of Christian missions. It includes an introduction by A.M.E. Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, who suggests that all other areas of study and application pale in importance to that of Christian missions, "while the world of mankind is so barbarous" (8). Duncan relates this discussion of missions to the importance of education among blacks.

The place of women as missionaries is given much attention, as well as the need for blacks to emphasize missions to Africa. Another topic that is given attention is that of lynching in America. Readers interested in A.M.E. history, history of missions, and women's history will find Progressive Missions a useful resource.

Nora Rubel

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