Church People in the Struggle

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

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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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 255 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • OXFORD UNIV PR
  • English
  • 0195079671
  • 9780195079678

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