Church People in the Struggle

Church People in the Struggle : The National Council of Churches and the Black Freedom Movement, 1950-1970

3.85 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the 1960s, the mainstream Protestant churches responded to an urgent need by becoming deeply involved with the national black community in its struggle for racial justice. The National Council of Churches (NCC), as the principal ecumenical organization of the national Protestant religious establishment, initiated an active new role by establishing a Commission on Religion and Race in 1963. Focusing primarily on the efforts of the NCC, this is the first study by an historian to examine the relationship of the predominantly white, mainstream Protestant Churches to the Civil Rights movement. Drawing on hitherto little-used and unknown archival resources and extensive interviews with participants, Findlay documents the churches' committed involvement in the March on Washington in 1963, 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 events of the 1960s unfolded and the national liberal coalition, of which the churches were a part, disintegrated. While never losing sight of the central, indispensable role of the African-American community, Findlay's study for the first time makes clear the highly significant contribution made by liberal religious groups in the turbulent, exciting, moving, and historic decade of the 1960s.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 268 pages
  • 156.5 x 233.4 x 19.6mm | 442.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 019511812X
  • 9780195118124
  • 1,755,595

Review quote

an academic historian's objective and meticulously assembled account of the NCC's role in the struggle for racial justice throughout the 50s and 60s...this is the definitive account of the evolving relationship of the predominantly white, mainstream Protestant Churches to the Civil Rights movement. * Theological Book Review Vol 7 no 2 * 'a major contribution ... a fascinating and at times painful story which provides an indispensable context for understanding the place of the American church today in racial issues ... Professional historians will find much of use in the text and notes, but Findlay's thorough documentation in no way impedes the general reader's progress ... for those interested in black theology, Findlay's historical account is indispensable. Church People in the Struggle
will engage anyone concerned with American church history or the more general question of how the church is to be related to the world.'
Reviews in Religion and Theology, August 1994 From the cloth edition; `Truly a pathbreaking manuscript, the work of painstaking and meticulous research ... a tour de force in academic detective work.'Leonard Sweet, President, United Theological Seminary
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7 ratings
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