‘The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,’ by Henry Louis Gates Jr.: An Excerpt

‘The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,’ by Henry Louis Gates Jr.: An Excerpt

Many church bombings that occurred during these years existed as part of a long history. Anthony B. Professor of Religion at Rice University. Pinn says, “Church burning in the twentieth and twentieth centuries gives the same message to the church in the 1800s.” “Burning these churches is one way to strengthen white supremacy.” If you are black, there is no safe place. “

On September 15, 1963, there was an ordinary morning in Birmingham, Alabama. Three weeks after the mass march on Washington, African American children were studying the Bible during Sunday school at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The lesson was from Matthew: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do well with those who love you.” That morning, prayers and recitations would be silenced as the church became the target of a horrific act of violence by white supremacists. A bomb planted in the church exploded, killing four black girls: Carol Dennis McNair, who was eleven years old, and Adi Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson, all ages sixteen. Addie Mae’s younger sister, Sarah, lived but lost an eye. The bombings were reminiscent of the havoc targeted at Black churches long before the Civil War. Coming on the heels of the March on Washington, it escalates the struggle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which exposes segregation in businesses and public spaces — including schools, eventually enforcing Brown v. Board of Education Decision – and discrimination in employment. Amid an increasingly violent movement, from the bombing in Birmingham in Mississippi to the 1964 Freedom Summer, which saw thirty saw churches burned or bombed over a period of ten weeks, Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Gone. .

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, protecting the sanctity of the vote for all Americans. For King, who joined the signing, the law was a necessary and necessary step, but without proper implementation, he believed it was far from adequate. With the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the promised land was within sight, but not actually within reach.

The Reverend Otis Moss, Jr., an associate of King, who commits a crime in his marriage, speculates whether there would have been a civil rights movement, not Martin Luther King. “Maybe yes, but it would have been different,” he says. “He brought in a redemption paradigm movement in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ as a moral foundation and remained true to that doctrine.” Or, Michael Eric Dyson, author and teacher minister of Vanderbilt University Divinity School, says, “This is the man who used his Christian faith to use the genius of the gospel not to build this Christian nation, but to build it Have to do. ” Nation. “

In the spring of 1968, King lent his support to the striking sanitation workers in Memphis, who were demanding the city recognize their union, pay them a living wage, and guarantee the safety of their fellow employees . In his last public address, he said, “It is right to talk about the streets overflowing with milk and honey, but God has commanded us to be concerned about slums here, and their children who do not have three classes of food.” Can eat “one day. . . .



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