Rev. King. T. Hayes uses many good points as to why blacks who were put into slavery never gave up on believing that they would be free one day. Religion has always been a huge part of the way most people live their lives and their spirit. Blacks who were enslaved used church as a way to get away from the rest of the world. It makes sense why because on a daily basis, they have to listen to their owner and they are not able to control how they want to live. When they go to church, they look for a brighter future. In his essay Hayes says, “Afro-Americans could not have resisted or endured slavery if they had been utterly demoralized by its oppressiveness. What made the struggle for freedom possible were inner resources and patterns of thought that gave dignity to their lives and hopes for a brighter future.” This why many believe that religion was the “cornerstone” of the Afro-American culture. Especially with slaves, wherever they were living, they sought comfort in a religious community. Rev. Hayes focuses a lot on the churches in Hartford because of the strong Afro-American presence in Hartford.
There were many blacks who were slaves and they were freed. Hartford also played a momentous role as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The original number of Afro-Americans in Hartford try to find out religious services in all-white churches but were rejected and told that they had to sit at the back of the church or the balconies of those churches. They were also told that they were not allowed to participate in the service. This did not sit well with the Afro-Americans, and they decided to leave the white churches so that they can seek their own religious organization where they could worship God in freedom and advocate other self-help organizations.