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beliefs and practices involving visions, ecstatic trances and prophecies. After a series of revivals in the early 1860s, religious enthusiasm combined with political protest against the planting class when the Native Baptists helped instigate a peasant uprising in Morant Bay in 1865 that left nearly 500 dead before it was suppressed. Still, prophetic blends of Afro-Christianity became increasingly popular among working-class Jamaicans towards the end of the nineteenth century, generating a proliferation of revivalist churches and cults such as Revival Zion, Pocomania, Cumina and Convince - the forerunners of the Ras Tafari movement of the twentieth century. These groups were sometimes energised by charismatic leaders, such as Alexander Bedward, leader of the Revivalist movement between the 1890s and 1920s. Similar cults arose elsewhere in the Caribbean, such as the Spiritual Baptists in Trinidad. Other West Indian nations or colonies had their Afro-Catholic equivalents, such as Vodun in Haiti, Santeria in Cuba and the Shango cult in Trinidad. All contained strong elements of African worship, such as drumming, dancing, spirit possession, animal sacrifice and worship of African divinities in a 'total magico-religious complex'.21

In the United States, the rapid growth in independent churches generated a strong demand for black clergy; as one meeting of Virginia Baptists declared: 'It was manifest that the churches of the Association are decidedly in favor of having colored pastors.' Baptists, all the black Methodist and Methodist Episcopal denominations and others launched aggressive campaigns to train black clergy, turning out hundreds of ministers, many of them former slaves, in the decades after Emancipation. The preaching profession became one of the fastest-growing occupations among African Americans, offering status and opportunities for leadership and service. Black ministers were respected and, often, charismatic and powerful figures in the community. Many were vigorous spokesmen for political rights and racial progress. In 1870, the Rev. Hiram Revels of Mississippi, an AME clergyman, became the first black senator elected to Congress, and dozens of other black preachers held national and state elective office at some point in the post-war South. AME Bishop Henry McNeil Turner helped organise a black political base in Georgia for the Republican Party while espousing a black nationalist liberation theology and reparations for slave labour.22

21 Simpson, Religious cults of the Caribbean, p. 11. See also Holt, The problem of freedom, pp. 289-309; Brereton, 'Society and culture in the Caribbean', pp. 104-6; Olmos (ed.), Creole religions ofthe Caribbean.

22 Lincoln and Mamiya, The black church in the African American experience, pp. 204-7; Montgomery, Under their own vine and fig tree, pp. 307-32.

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