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This article is part of a series highlighting developments in religious education, and, in particular, the growth of Sunday schools in Great Britain and the United States. This month, we look beyond officially sanctioned Sunday schools to some of the means by which African American slaves received reli- gious education—and the value they placed on it. Slaves were forbidden any genuine education—particularly any that might liberate them physically or mentally from servitude. Yet their owners' policy didn't prevent them from making many sacrifices to learn the truths of the Bible and to ensure that their children knew them, too.

'. . . something worth living for'

From the February 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The tension between the kind of Christian education white slave owners wanted their slaves to have—compared to true Christian education—runs throughout the history of slavery, especially in the United States. There were free African Americans in North America in the years immediately following the battle for independence from Great Britain.