From Every Mountainside
Black Churches and the Broad Terrain of Civil Rights
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Quote
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Many persons and institutions contributed to the successful completion of this volume. First of all, I would like to thank each of the volume’s contributors for their chapters and for the convictions and expertise they brought to this exploration of church involvement with civil rights. Special thanks also go to the SUNY Press editors involved with this project: Larin ...
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In both popular and academic understandings of the American Civil Rights Movement, the emphasis has generally been on the heroic activ-ism mobilized from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s against the segregationist juggernaut of the American South. It was on this historical stage that black churches were spotlighted for their substantial role in the black freedom epoch unfolding at the time—and it was a role that ...
Mid-Twentieth Century Church Activism Beyond the South
Chapter 1: Black Church Divisions and Civil Rights Activism in Chicago
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In the mid-1940s, Richard Wright wrote, “no other community in Amer-ica [has] been so intensely studied, [nor] has had brought to bear upon it so blinding a scrutiny as” black Chicago.1 Since then, scholarly interest in black Chicago has not slackened. Yet surprisingly, the role of African American churches in civil rights activism in the Midwest metropolis has The dynamics of power relations in the city of Chicago in the second ...
Chapter 2: The NAACP, Black Churches, and the Struggle for Black Empowerment in New Haven, 1955–1961
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When the Reverend Edwin Edmonds passed away in November of 2007, the city of New Haven, Connecticut mourned the loss of the man rightfully described by the New Haven Independent as the city’s “premier civil-rights” leader. Over the course of his nearly fifty years of service to the Elm City, Edmonds spearheaded efforts to address many of the problems impacting the African American community, from sub-...
Chapter 3: Ruby Hurley, U.S. Protestantism, and NAACP Student Work, 1940–1950
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Ruby Hurley, the competent and beloved organizing director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Southeast Region, is most well known for strategic work in the South during the height of the Civil Rights era. As regional director, from 1951 until her retirement in 1978, Hurley coordinated membership drives and school desegregation campaigns; organized protests; investigat-...
Chapter 4: Black Churches, Peoples Temple, and Civil Rights Politics in San Francisco
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The black freedom struggle in Northern California conflated around persistent problems of residential segregation, job discrimination, education policy, police brutality, and housing which African Americans across the region faced in the decades between World War II and the turbulence of the Black Power phase of the struggle. In cities such as Richmond, Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, local leaders, ...
Chapter 5: Philadelphia’s Opportunities Industrialization Center and the Black Church’s Quest for Economic Justice
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On the morning of June 29, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a surprise visit to Philadelphia with an entourage that included his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, Sargent Shriver, the director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Hugh Scott, the Republican Senator from Penn-sylvania, and other close advisors. Johnson and his group arrived in the city by 9:50 a.m. that day with the express purpose of visiting the birth-...
Chapter 6: The Black Panther Party and the Black Church
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The Black church was born over 350 years ago, engaged in a survival program. The Black Church was born out of an effort to deal with the concrete conditions and needs of Black people. It was born in an attempt to enable and empower Black people to survive the racist and exploitative system of slavery in America. Its mission and purpose today is the same ...
Chapter 7: Racial Discrimination and the Radical Politics of New York Clergyman, Milton A. Galamison
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One of the most controversial figures in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s was the Reverend Milton Arthur Galamison. Born on March 25, 1923 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Galamison became the leader of the school integration movement in New York, conducting a number of demonstrations and boycotts to force the Board of Education to integrate the largest school system in the nation. Unlike most of the ...
Public Sphere Capital and Contemporary Rights Expectations
Chapter 8: Black Clergy, Educational Fairness, and Pursuit of the Common Good
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The debate over school funding adequacy versus school choice has become a central battlefield for black clergy in the fight to lay claim to the Civil Rights Movement legacy—with both sides connecting their cause to the Movement. Americans on either side of this educational fairness debate cite America’s continued acceptance of underperforming and pri-marily black- and Latino-serving public schools as a de facto sanctioning ...
Chapter 9: Black Churches and Black Voter Suppression in Florida and Ohio
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Preserving and protecting black voting rights has been a constant strug-gle, dating back to the 1870s. One of the great beacons within the black community in countering vote suppression has been the black church, which is interpreted in this analysis as any congregation with a predomi-nantly black membership. Black churches were integral to countering the Jim Crow laws in the South and the machine politics of the North and ...
Chapter 10: African American Churches, Health Care, and the Health Reform Debate
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The mission statement of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church, which asserts its intention to “minister to the spiritual, intel-lectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people,” pro-vides a window into black churches and their posture on the currently contested issue of health care within the U.S.1 This mission statement, which also speaks of “caring for the sick, shut-in, (and) the mentally ...
Chapter 11: The Obama Administration, Faith-Based Policy, and Religious Groups’ Hiring Rights
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If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them—or against “On the hiring issue . . . [w]hat the president has decided to do . . . [a]s issues arise out in agencies, whether it’s on co-religion in hiring, hiring discrimination or any other difficult legal issue, we will consider them. ...
Prevailing Boundaries of Social Difference
Chapter 12: Black Church Burnings in the 1990s and Faith-Based Responses
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Four decades after the beginnings of the mid-twentieth-century Civil Rights Movement, there were echoes both of oppression and activism as the United States again had to confront manifestations of racism—spe-cifically racial hatred against faith communities—and public challenges to this hatred. In the spring and summer of 1996, African American churches were headlining the news as they fell victim to a new wave of ...
Chapter 13: Civil Rights Rhetoric in Media Coverage of Marriage Equality Debates: Massachusetts and Georgia
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The civil rights movement1 of the 1950s and 1960s was characterized by tactics and rhetoric that demanded justice and equality in the laws and everyday public practices of the United States. During this period of history, certain extraordinary black Christians (and others) created activist strategies that highlighted the moral costs to American society of tolerating institutionally sanctioned inequalities. ...
Chapter 14: The Feminization of HIV/AIDS and Passivity of Black Church Responses in Denver and Beyond
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The HIV virus first came to public attention in the United States in 1981. Initially, HIV/AIDS was thought of as a gay white men’s disease. During the years 1981–1987, statistics supported that belief given that gay white men were 51 percent of those infected, while African Americans collectively represented 28 percent. However, by the year 2008 the num-bers reversed. Currently, African Americans represent approximately 51 ...
Chapter 15: Black Churches and African American Opinion on Immigration Policy
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This chapter assesses the impact clergy have on the immigration atti-tudes of African Americans. U.S trade policies with Mexico between 1986 and 1994 contributed to the dramatic increase in the ethnic diversity of American cities and subsequent contact between native-born blacks and Hispanic immigrants, the largest immigrant group in the United States.2 Between 1980 and 2004, Mexican immigration increased by five-...
Chapter 16: Religious Others and a New Blackness in Post-9/11 California
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The devastating September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States inten-sified the pariah status of Muslims and numerous other religious minorities in the country. This is a dynamic traceable to the surveillant experiences of the African American organization, the Nation of Islam, more commonly known as the Black Muslims.1 With a statewide popu-lation of more than one million Muslim residents—500,000 in southern ...
Page Count: 381
Publication Year: 2013