Have You Got Good Religion?

Black Women's Faith, Courage, and Moral Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement
Author: AnneMarie Mingo
The spiritual power behind Black Churchwomen’s quest for a better America
Cloth – $110
Paper – $24.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 03/26/2024
Cloth: 03/26/2024
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About the Book

What compels a person to risk her life to change deeply rooted systems of injustice in ways that may not benefit her? The thousands of Black Churchwomen who took part in civil rights protests drew on faith, courage, and moral imagination to acquire the lived experiences at the heart of the answers to that question. AnneMarie Mingo brings these forgotten witnesses into the historical narrative to explore the moral and ethical world of a generation of Black Churchwomen and the extraordinary liberation theology they created. These women acted out of belief that what they did was bigger than themselves. Taking as their goal nothing less than the moral transformation of American society, they joined the movement because it was something they had to do. Their personal accounts of a lived religion enacted in the world provide powerful insights into how faith steels human beings to face threats, jail, violence, and seemingly implacable hatred. Throughout, Mingo draws on their experiences to construct an ethical model meant to guide contemporary activists in the ongoing pursuit of justice.

A depiction of moral imagination that resonates today, Have You Got Good Religion? reveals how Black Churchwomen’s understanding of God became action and transformed a nation.

About the Author

AnneMarie Mingo is an associate professor of ethics, culture, and moral leadership at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


"This book delivers a powerful, passionate, and educational reading experience." --Library Journal, Starred Review


"AnneMarie Mingo’s Have You Got Good Religion? Black Women’s Faith, Courage, and Moral Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement makes connections to liberation thought and contemporary activism in ethical dispositions--freedom faith, courage, theo-moral imagination, and compulsion--of eight ‘ordinary church women’ in the Civil Rights Movement. Mingo chronicles stories that might be lost to history and offers models for others to follow. Both occur through intentional focus on women whom Mingo could see herself imitating ‘to take on similar risks for the sake of the good that I imagine for the world in which we live.’ Arguing the church women advanced a distinct ‘understanding of God and God’s relationship to humanity and other forms of creation,’ Mingo reasserts a foundational claim of liberation theology that God is on the side of the oppressed by using the double entendre ‘good’ in the book’s title and including a late chapter asking the question ‘Which Side Are You On?’ The text deftly asserts continuity of Black women’s historic liberation practices in Black Lives Matter Movement actors who use songs, scripture, sayings, sermons, speeches, and statements to live out a social ethic of compulsion that emerges through a divine calling identified by both church women in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matters Movement actors. Through assertion of continuity, this book translates in two directions--challenging doubters of the benefit of the Civil Rights Movement to see its connection to Black Lives Matter activism, and offering affirmation to mid-twentieth-century century activists that they are exemplars of the work twenty-first century activists carry on.”--Rosetta E. Ross, author of Witnessing and Testifying: Black Women, Religion, and Civil Rights