Slave Narrative Paper

Shatondra Caldwell

WS106 Kassorla

March 29, 2011

                              Amanda Berry Smith Slave for the Lord

 In my research I want to explore importance of Amanda Smith’s narrative. Amanda did a great number of extraordinary things that other slaves would never have had the chance to do. Smith overcame the odds and beat every obstacle that she faced. She taught the word of God to different races and even in different countries. Smith famously went to India and learned new things about Christianity. How did Amanda Smith conquer the feats of being a slave? And how did Amanda teach the word of God to all colors all over the world?   In order to answer these questions, I will need to read Amanda Smith’s narrative, internet sources and internet encyclopedia. What was her impact on the world of Christianity, and what mark did she leave in the African American community as a whole?

( Encyclopædia Britannica Online)Amanda Berry Smith was born on January 23 1837 in Long Green Maryland to Samuel and Miriam Berry. Her father worked late at night and saved enough money to buy his entire family’s freedom. As a child Amanda could not get a formal education because it was either too hard to understand or it was a white school that did not allow African Americans. At 13 Amanda became a live in domestic worker. While working at one house she attended her first Methodist church and fell in love with the Lord. ( Encyclopædia Britannica Online) A few years later Amanda married Calvin Devine and had one child. Calvin went to war and never returned. Later Amanda married James Smith hoping that James would become a pastor, but he never did and put the marriage in a strain. When James Smith died Amanda pursued her career as a pastor. While gravely sick she dreamed that she would preach around the world and become a servant for the Lord.

Amanda Berry Smith began to sing and preach at different holiness camps. Many people have never seen an African American once a former slave sing and preach the word at the same time. (Dodson)The more she sung and preached her named spread throughout the U.S. and outside of the states in to Europe and India. In her slave narrative Amanda tells of the different camps and places she traveled and teached at. (Billups)While in India, Smith wrote about her adventures with the native Christian family. Smith and her fellow Indian pastor pasted out bibles to eleven native people who wanted to learn more about God. (Dodson)While in India she taught to everyone who would listen. She later moved to Liberia and stayed for there for eight years. In Liberia Amanda was really in tuned with her spirituality. She saw many things of that most people in their lives don’t see on a regular basis. (Billups) Living in Africa pumped up her preaching and singing. The only thing that brought her down was her health. Her health was altered because of Africa health problems and unsanitary environment. Amanda got use to the environment and got better she stayed there for eight years.

In later years Amanda Smith moved to back to Chicago and wanted to start her own autobiography. (Klassen) Smith started writing her autobiography in New Jersey in a friend’s home. Her book was published in Chicago in 1893 and has since been reprinted six times. An Autobiography, The Story of the Lord’s Dealing with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the Colored Evangelist is one of the top best selling African American woman writers in the history of writing. (Rufus Burrow)After her autobiography was published Amanda moved to Chicago and brought her first piece of land in 1895. On June 28, 1899 Amanda Smith opened up an orphanage for black orphans. Amanda Smith is a very influential woman who made a difference in African American women lives for being strong.

Amanda Berry Smith was once a slave who had a dream. She then became a preacher and taught the word of God to everyone. Amanda did what most black people period in the 19th and early 20th century wanted to do but never took a chance and took on the world. Amanda Berry Smith did it and never looked back. She is an amazing woman. She faced her fears of being a slave by finding the Lord and just facing her demons one by one. Amanda is a slave for the Lord and a woman of change for woman all over the world from the past to the future.      

Work Cited

 “Amanda Smith.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.

Billups, Edith. “”God’s Image Carved in Ebony” – the Story of Amanda Berry Smith, a Little Known Missionary.” Washington Informer, sec. 40: 20. Ethnic NewsWatch. 2004. Web. 12 Feb. 2011 <>. 

Dodson, Jualynne. “Amanda Berry Smith: From Washerwoman to Evangelist by Adrienne M. Israel.” University of Chicago Press. 81.1 (Jan.,2001): 131-33. Print.

Klassen, Pamela. “The Robes of Womanhood: Dress and Authenticity among African American Methodist Women in the Nineteenth Century.” University of California Press on behalf of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture . 14.1 (2004): 39-82. Print.

Rufus Burrow, Jr.  “Enter Womanist theology and ethics. ” Western Journal of Black Studies  22.1 (1998): 19-29. Research Library, ProQuest. Web.  12 Feb. 2011.


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