Jarena Lee (February 11, 1783 – ?) was a 19th-century African-American woman who left behind an eloquent account of her religious experience. She was also the first woman authorized to preach by Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1819. Despite Allen’s blessing, Lee continued to face hostility to her ministry because she was Black and a woman. She became a traveling minister, traveling thousands of miles on foot. In one year alone, she “travelled two thousand three hundred and twenty-five miles, and preached one hundred and seventy-eight sermons”. Lee’s importance is threefold. First, she exemplifies the 19th-century American religious movement’s focus on personal holiness and sanctification. Second, she left a detailed account of her life of faith that serves as a valuable primary source. Third, she became an eloquent witness to her faith and a pioneer for women seeking license to preach in the Methodist traditions.
Published by Alanna Lockward
alannalockward(at)yahoo.com Alanna Lockward is a Berlin based Dominican author and independent curator. She is the founding director of Art Labour Archives, an exceptional platform centered on theory, political activism and art. Her interests are Caribbean marronage discursive and mystical legacies in time-based practices, critical race theory, decolonial aesthetics/aesthesis, Blak feminism and womanist ethics. Lockward is the author of Apremio: apuntes sobre el pensamiento y la creación contemporánea desde el Caribe (Cendeac, 2006), a collection of essays, the short novel Marassá y la Nada (Santuario 2013) and Un Haití Dominicano. Tatuajes fantasmas y narrativas bilaterales (1994-2014), a compilation of her investigative work on the history and current challenges between both island-nations (Santuario 2014). She was cultural editor of Listín Diario, research journalist of Rumbo magazine and columnist of the Miami Herald and is currently a columnist of Acento.com.do. Her essays and reviews have been widely published internationally by Afrikadaa, Atlántica, ARTECONTEXTO, Arte X Excelencias, Art Nexus, Caribbean InTransit and Savvy Journal. In 2014 she was the guest columnist of Camera Austria. At the Museo de Arte Moderno (Santo Domingo) Lockward was appointed Director of International Affairs (1988) and was designated as Selection Jury of the XX Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales (1996) and as Award Jury in its 26 edition (2011). She has been a guest lecturer at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, the Decolonial Summer School Middelburg, the University of Warwick, Dutch Art Institute and Goldsmiths University of London and has been a panelist at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa) and Duke, Columbia and Princeton Universities in the US. She is academic advisor of Transart Institute and is associated scholar of Young Scholars Network Black Diaspora and Germany. She has conceptualized and curated the groundbreaking trans-disciplinary meeting BE.BOP. BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS (2012-2014) @ Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. Alanna Lockward has been awarded by the Allianz Cultural Foundation, the Danish Arts Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Her first documentary project on Black Liberation Theology and the transnational history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) received the production prize FONPROCINE 2013. alannalockward(at)yahoo.com View all posts by Alanna Lockward