The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism
Judith Casselberry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College. A vocalist and guitarist, Casselberry was a member of the award-winning reggae duo Casselberry-DuPreé and currently performs internationally with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.
This chapter examines the emotional labor and strategies employed to produce women-driven patriarchies at church and at home, undergirded by religious teachings of submission and obedience. It then considers emotional labor in the workplace and positions of institutionalized power as women confront the challenges of their existence in the worldly labor force, all the while bolstered by a religious community that demands full societal inclusion and an on-the-job meritocracy. As women carry out boundary-spanning emotion management, moving between supporting religiously based and resisting race-based patriarchal systems, self-identification as sanctified shapes, and is shaped by, the areas they deem oppressive or empowering in the church community, at home, and in the secular labor force. They therefore devise covert and overt methods to “get the job done,” all according to their standards of religious righteousness.