Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Figures and Table

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p. viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

On March 13, 1971, the United Front—a nationally renowned black power organization based in Cairo, Illinois—published an article written by sixteen-year-old Oklahoman Karen Rice in its weekly paper the United Front News. In the article, entitled “The Movement, God and Me,” Rice testified to her political “awakening” while attending a Lutheran conference in Chicago. ...

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1. On Jordan’s Banks: The Origins of Community, Faith, and Struggle in Cairo

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pp. 23-62

The black church has historically served as a key staging ground for black freedom struggles in Cairo, Illinois. At crucial junctures throughout the city’s history, social movement organizations have relied on black churches for their extensive organizational and ideational resources. ...

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2. Redemptive Love, Vigilante Terror, and Rebellion: Cairo in the Civil Rights Cauldron

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pp. 63-104

By the mid-twentieth century the social and cultural power of black churches in Cairo was unrivaled. In this rigidly segregated borderland community, black sacred edifices served both religious and worldly purposes, functioning as primary sites of black worship, welfare intervention, community building, and protest. ...

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3. From the Seminary to the Streets: Grassroots Black Theology and the Forging of a United Front

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pp. 105-150

In September 1970 Rev. Charles Koen, leader of the Cairo United Front, joined delegates from across the African diaspora in Atlanta, Georgia, for the founding conference of the Congress of African Peoples (CAP).1 Organized by Newark-based activist Amiri Baraka, the CAP conference took place at a watershed moment in the black power movement. ...

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4. Straight from the Offering Plate: Church Resources and the New Black Power Coalition

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pp. 151-182

On April 20, 1971, hundreds of black clergy from across the nation converged on St. Columba’s Catholic Church in Cairo for the spring convocation of NCBC. Cairo’s nationally recognized black power struggle and its leader Charles Koen’s conscious engagement with black theology made the city an ideal site for the premier conference of radical black clergy. ...

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5. The Recession of National Spirit: The Decline of the Cairo Black Power Movement

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pp. 183-218

Since its founding in the summer of 1969, the United Front had waged a powerful assault on Cairo’s unique system of racial oppression, catapulting the organization into the national spotlight. In a period so often characterized by sectarianism and internecine battles, the United Front had forged a surprisingly broad-based coalition under the banner of a new spiritual philosophy and a set of shared cultural practices rooted in the black church. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 219-228

In the spring of 1972, the United States Commission on Civil Rights held a three-day public hearing in Cairo to investigate, in the words of Commissioner Frankie Freeman, “allegations from individuals and organizations all over the country that extensive and overt racial discrimination exists here.” ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 229-232

Writing this book has been a solitary endeavor, but one in which I have incurred many debts. For the privilege of engaging in intellectual labor, I am beholden to many teachers. At Kings College London I had the honor of working under the excellent supervision of John Howard. During a study abroad opportunity at the University of Illinois, ...

Notes

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pp. 233-284

Bibliography

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pp. 285-304

Index

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pp. 305-320

Further Series Titles

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