Anti-Commodified Black Studies and the Radical Roots of Black Christian Education

Ahmad Greene-Hayes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article thinks about the intellectual inheritances bequeathed to Black Studies scholars, and specifically to scholars of African American religions, from Black women Christian educators of the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. It focuses on two women: Catherine (Katy) Ferguson (1774-1854), a Presbyterian who started the first Sunday school in New York in 1793, and Emily Christmas Kinch (1879-1932), a missionary in the African Methodist Episcopal Church who founded the Eliza Turner Memorial School in Liberia in 1909, and also became a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in the 1920s and championed African redemption. It shows how Black women Christian educators developed an “anti-commodified Black Studies,” which in my formulation, refers to grassroots educational institution-building and pedagogical innovation that democratizes the spread and reach of new knowledges for all people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • African Methodist Episcopal church
  • Black Christian education
  • Black Studies
  • Black Women
  • Catherine (Katy) Ferguson
  • Emily Christmas Kinch
  • Sunday school
  • Universal Negro Improvement Association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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