Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.
In 1867, Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, wrote An Apology for African Methodism. Offering readers a history of the AME Church, Tanner also underscores the progress that African-Americans have made through the AME Church.
I believe that Tanner published this text at a critical stage in African-American history: just two years after slavery was abolished. Former enslaved people needed a religious faith that would not only speak to their experiences but would also speak to their ability to create social change in their community. In other words, this was a text that could be used to expand the AME Church from the North into the South.