Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

African American Studies


The effects of having one’s culture taken from him/her can be catastrophic, and unremitting ramifications have plagued Black Americans as a consequence of living in a culturally oppressive environment.1 This cultural negation is devastating, for African Americans have been denied their very connection to their humanity and self-worth. During slavery, Europeans used Christianity as a tool of oppression.2 This is not to say that Christianity has never served the purpose of liberation, and the purpose of this paper is not to attack the Christian religion. However, religion can be used as a tool of oppression, for religion has the ability to control the actions and self-image of large groups of people. To fully alleviate an oppressed mentality that began with the subjugation of Africans and was fostered through different avenues thereafter, one must look at all the ways which Africans were oppressed,3 including the use of religion. This thesis examines how Europeans used Christianity to oppress people of African descent.