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Utilizing the historical and cultural frameworks of Stephen Hahn and bell hooks and their scholarly predecessors and contemporaries, this study focuses on the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Early County, Georgia, as a counter-hegemonic rural space for refuge, resistance, ingenuity and community-building, paying close attention to the activities at county seat, Blakely, which rippled through Early County. Chapter 1 of this study will examine the historical presence and significance of Blacks in Early County and their encounters with Methodism. The writer builds the argument that Africans in Early County always exercised varying degrees of ingenuity and autonomy, even under the yoke of slavery. As a consequence of the 13th and 14th Amendments, Blacks in the county were legally placed in a new space wherein they could make permanent inroads and influence AND develop this society. Utilizing the official media organ of the AME Church, The Christian Recorder and correspondence from AME Bishops, Elders, and laity, the writer shows how the national thrust of the AME church influenced the work of freedom and progress at the local level, evidenced through the accomplishments and collaborative efforts of AMEs and community leaders in Early County. In order for freedom and democracy to expand and be firmly rooted in a community, education must be at its core. Chapter 2 examines the AME Church's role in the field of education in Georgia, paying particular attention to African Methodist educational work in Early County and its influences across the state. Using the framework of Hooks, the establishment of the AME Church --- its educational and political arm created new "worlds" for Blacks in Early County. Moreover, it provided a "safe space" for the building of community. Chapter 3 will examine the political role of the AME Church in Early County, Georgia, highlighting how the firmly-bound ties of the connectional AME church, worked to undermine White Supremacy in Blakely, focusing on the leaders of this political movement and their religious background and influence. Efforts at Black progress, freedom and autonomy in Early County were not met with open arms from the county's White citizens, at times it was met with violent retaliatory measures. Chapter 4 will examine violence in the county, analyzing two instances of overt race violence, where AME Churches and congregants, among others, were targeted. It will also examine the AME Church's national stance on race violence, highlighting the viewpoint of leaders at the national and local levels and how they mitigated polarized race relations at the county seat. Overall, this study seeks to add to the historical scholarship of the AME Church's role in Black progress in America. In hooks' "Choosing the Margin As A Space of Radical Openness" she emphasizes a significant line from the South African Freedom Charter which states, "Our struggle is also a struggle of memory against forgetting" in her discussion on radical politics in the perceived Black peripheral space. It is hoped that this work will highlight the efforts of the AME church and Black people in Early County who embraced a radical and transformative movement of forward progress, outside of the scope of White Supremacy. In addition to this study creating an accurate historical record for the halls of academia, this work also encourages readers to remember, identify, examine, enhance and reimage the historical tenets of Black political progress and implement them to galvanize civic participation, societal justice and inclusive education in the rural South.