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Psychological Warfare: Jehovah’s Witnesses and The African American Experience

  • Author(s): Hicks, Markus Issac
  • Advisor(s): Hunter, Marcus
  • et al.

This study explores the psychological warfare Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) engage to recruit African Americans as some studies cite membership as high as 52 percent of JWs U.S. membership demographics. Despite succeeding in recruiting more than their “fair share” of African Americans, there has been little research to account for their success. I posit that JWs’ precise understanding and acknowledgment of the African American plight made the organization especially attractive to Black Americans. Utilizing discourse analyses of JWs’ literature 1879 through 2014, I offer three emerging themes that reveal JW’s outreach strategies. 1. A hope offering Black people a racial paradise 2. A strategy corroborating African Americans’ reality of racial oppression and 3. Providing favorable coverage and representation among the Black community.

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