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Willis Duke WeatherfordRace, Religion, and Reform in the American South$
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Andrew McNeill Canady

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168159

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168159.001.0001

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A Respectable Religious Message

A Respectable Religious Message

(p.37) 2 A Respectable Religious Message
Willis Duke Weatherford

Andrew McNeill Canady

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter provides a history of the YMCA in the South and examines Weatherford’s activities within the southern YMCA, particularly among college students from 1900 through 1920. In this period the YMCA was an important institution in towns and cities across the country and particularly among college students, as it was the key campus ministry organization. Weatherford sought to make an intellectually respectable argument for religion in this era of growing skepticism, and he also came to formally address the concerns of African Americans as a vital part of this mission. Weatherford authored some of the first texts in the South about the conditions of blacks and also supported the creation of YMCA study groups to consider these concerns. Race relations at this point for Weatherford remained primarily about making whites aware of these issues. He did not encourage this group to call for political changes.

Keywords:   YMCA, African Americans, religion, race relations, Southern Sociological Congress, Commission on Interracial Cooperation

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