Church People in the Struggle: The National Council of Churches and the Black Freedom Movement, 1950-1970  -     By: James F. Findlay
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Church People in the Struggle: The National Council of Churches and the Black Freedom Movement, 1950-1970

Oxford University Press / 1997 / Paperback

$62.50 (CBD Price)
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CBD Stock No: WW5118124

Black Friday Again
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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 280
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1997
Dimensions: 9.19 X 6.16 X 0.77 (inches)
ISBN: 019511812X
ISBN-13: 9780195118124
Series: Religion in America

Publisher's Description

This comprehensive study represents the first effort by an historian to examine the relationship of the mainstream Protestant Churches to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The focus is on the National Council of Churches, the principal ecumenical organization of the national Protestant religious establishment. Drawing on hitherto little-used and unknown archival resources and extensive interviews with participants, Findlay reveals the widespread participation of the predominantly white churches in the efforts moving toward black freedom that continued throughout the sixties. He documents the churches' active involvement in the March on Washington in 1963 and the massive lobbying effort to secure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, their powerful support of the struggle to end legal segregation in Mississippi, and their efforts to respond to the Black Manifesto and the rise of black militancy before and during 1969. Findlay chronicles initial successes, then growing frustration as the national liberal coalition, of which the churches were a part, disintegrated as the events of the 1960s unfolded. For the first time, Findlay's study makes clear the highly significant role played by liberal religious groups in the turbulent, exciting, moving, and historic events of the 1960s.

Editorial Reviews


"A solid contribution....Packed with hitherto unknown information."--Journal of American History


"Findlay's well-researched and cogent study is a welcome addition to the historiography of the movement, especially as it analyzes inner tensions between liberal integrationists and apostles of black power....An informative and judicious addition to the literature of civil rights."--Choice


"At a time when David Duke can command over half the white Louisiana vote, when political experts tell us that the problem today is race and not racism, when religious leaders have discarded their `black agenda,' it is important that we look again at the 1960s and their impact on white and black Americans. This was the religious community's finest hour, and Findlay shows us how and why everything came together at this particular time and place. This is an impressive and important book."--John Dittmer, DePauw University


"A wonderful and very welcome study of the role of mainline Protestantism in the Civil Rights movement. Truly a pathbreaking study, the work of painstaking and meticulous research...a tour de force in academic detective work."--Leonard Sweet, United Theological Seminary


"A must-read for both secular historians of the civil rights movement and for scholars concerned with the American religious experience."--Theological Studies


"An impressive analysis....One of the most compelling features of Findlay's reconstruction is the way he captures the personal feelings and individual stories of key participants [of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s]....Findlay's outstanding reconstruction of these events has clarified a historical period which is still too little understood or appreciated. His account is admirably well balanced and carefully detailed."--Christian Century


"A significant contribution to the study of ecumenism within American Protestantism....An outstanding study that will be appreciated by scholars interested in religion and race in contemporary America."--History: Reviews of New Books


"Provides readers with important information about an era that is vital to understanding the situation of the churches today."--The Princeton Seminary Bulletin


"Findlay has done the nation and its churches a great service by writing this excellent history while many who were engaged in the freedom movement are still alive and active in their communities. I ask all such to do themselves a favor: buy this book and read it. Subsequently, I am sure, you will want to buy another copy for your favorite grandchild-the one in whom injustice done to others remains a cause for both outrage and action."--American Presbyterians


"A valuable reflection on the making and breaking of a justice coalition thirty years ago."--The Witness


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