The writer, John Hayes, introduces the hard realities of racial segregation and the impact of religion in the emancipation period. He further introduces the song, conversation with Death, an original composition of Chandler whose encounter with death and his purported pact of procrastination of the event of his death was used to invoke fear in the audiences who listened to it, most of who were church congregations. Though racial segregation was a reality, songs were acceptable across the racial divide. Special reference to Conversation with death, which was sung by both the blacks and the whites.
While the poverty brought both races together in churches and in society, the affluent whites clung onto the façade insisting on white supremacy. The New South in particular was a hotbed for racial segregation practice. For the blacks, churches were viewed with high regard. They were used to give societal leadership as well as provide platforms for anti-racism campaigns as well as the blacks’ emancipation crusade. The white churches, Martin Luther King and Eighmy noted, dwelt majorly on moral ideals and embellished complacency towards resisting political and social evils perpetrated by the government (Hayes, 2007). These, they indicate, are influenced by their divergent political perspectives (Hayes, 2007)when in fact they subscribe to similar religious ideals.
The article notes that religious sensibility and its impact during the segregation period was inspired by economic status. Historians agree that the purpose of black churches did not only inspire moral development in their congregation, it also spurred social reforms. Additionally the New South era also had religious fanatics who exercised their trade in a manner suggesting they bore a religious burden and were Christ haunted.
Hayes, J. (2007). Hard, Hard Religion: The Invisible Institution of the New South. The Journal of Southern Religion , 10.