Faith in the City
Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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For the better part of my life I have been a preacher and pastor; there-fore, I am intrigued, gratified, and most delighted by the subject, sub-stance, and excellence of Dr. Angela Dillard’s Faith in the City: Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit. It is a refreshing and resourceful presentation of how private faith can serve effectively to create public institutions that act valiantly, impartially, and noncoercively to bring about positive...
List of Abbreviations
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In 1963 the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit’s major African American weekly paper, invited its readers to pause in the midst of the city’s ongoing civil rights struggles to take stock of the past and reflect on the contributions of an earlier generation. In a multipart series, the paper considered the contributions of labor organizers and union members, especially those within the United Auto Workers, Congress of Industrial...
1. EVOLVING FAITH
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In the short story “Fire and Cloud,” published in the 1940 collection Uncle Tom’s Children, African American writer Richard Wright explores the conflicts among religion, politics, race, and class by focusing on the inner turmoil and external pressures besetting Reverend Taylor, the story’s protagonist. The tale commences with Reverend Taylor, a Black minister in a small southern town, returning from a discouraging meet-...
2. TRUE VERSUS FALSE RELIGION
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Religion, or more speci‹cally the role of churches and clergy, was the subject of increasing dispute throughout the 1930s as Detroit’s labor–civil rights community continued to develop. In the debate over “true” versus “false” visions of Christianity, progressives implicitly followed the lead...
3. EXPLOSIVE FAITH
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In recent times,” wrote Louis E. Martin, editor of the Michigan Chronicle and a careful student of local politics, in January 1944, “there has been increasing friction between the two old American traditions, one which is essentially liberal and democratic and the other patently reactionary. In perhaps no other great American city does this conflict come into sharper focus than in tumultuous Detroit. Even before the war this...
4. TO FULFILL YESTERDAY’S PROMISE
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Detroit’s civil rights community entered the immediate post–World War II period as a well-organized, if not always successful, center of social protest. The war had provided a context in which demands for civil rights and social justice, particularly for African Americans, could be framed within a language of national defense, antifascism, and the ...
5. THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE NORTH AND SOUTH
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I think we overestimated the potential support of the trade union movement,” Coleman A. Young lamented years after the National Negro Labor Council had been hounded out of existence in the late 1950s, “and underestimated the necessity of rooting ourselves in the ghetto.” We needed,” Young continued with the clarity of hindsight, ...
6. BLACK FAITH
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By the late 1960s, the Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr. had become a leading figure in the movement to link African American religion and Black theology with Black nationalism and Black power. He was, notes theologian James H. Cone, “one of the few black ministers who has embraced Black Power as a religious concept and has sought to reorient the church-community on the basis of it.” 1 He was also one of the most controversial ...
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Motown, if you don’t come around, we’re gonna burn you down.Neither the work of community organizations such as the WCO nor that of established civil rights organizations, from the NAACP and the Detroit Urban League to the Group on Advanced Leadership, nor the resources channeled into Detroit’s War (some called it a skirmish)on Poverty was enough to prevent the outbreak of urban rebellion in the...
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Illustrations following page 168
Page Count: 416
Illustrations: 8 figures, 18 photographs
Publication Year: 2007