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The definitive history of the epic struggle for economic justice that became Martin Luther King Jr.'s last crusade. Memphis in 1968 was ruled by a paternalistic "plantation mentality" embodied in its good-old-boy mayor, Henry Loeb. Wretched conditions, abusive white supervisors, poor education, and low wages locked most black workers into poverty. Then two sanitation workers were chewed up like garbage in the back of a faulty truck, igniting a public employee strike that brought to a boil long-simmering issues of racial injustice. With novelistic drama and rich scholarly detail, Michael Honey brings to life the magnetic characters who clashed on the Memphis battlefield: stalwart black workers; fiery black ministers; volatile, young, black-power advocates; idealistic organizers and tough-talking unionists; the first black members of the Memphis city council; the white upper crust who sought to prevent change or conflagration; and, finally, the magisterial Martin Luther King Jr., undertaking a Poor People's Campaign at the crossroads of his life, vilified as a subversive, hounded by the FBI, and seeing in the working poor of Memphis his hopes for a better America.
Presents a collection of speeches by the civil rights leader on the need for economic equality and justice, detailing his support of unions, labor reform, and call for an end to discrimination against African American workers.
An astonishing account of the assassination of America's most beloved and celebrated civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, by NY Times bestselling author, James L. Swanson.
Clarence B. Jones, close King advisor and draft speechwriter, has done much to reinforce a conservative hijacking of King's image with the publication of his controversial books What Would Martin Say? (2008) and Behind the Dream (2011). King emerges from Jones's books not as a prophetic radical who attacked systemic racial injustice, economic exploitation, and wars of aggression, but as a fiercely conservative figure who would oppose affirmative action and illegal immigration. The Domestication of Martin Luther King Jr. offers a critique of Jones's work and the larger effort on the part of right-wing conservatives to make King a useful symbol, or the sacred aura, in a protracted campaign to promote their own agenda for America. This work establishes the need to rethink King's legacy of ideas and activism and its importance for our society and culture.
On Palm Sunday 1964, at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, a group of black and white students began a "kneel-in" to protest the church's policy of segregation, a protest that would continue in one form or another for more than a year and eventually force the church to open its doors to black worshippers. In The Last Segregated Hour, Stephen Haynes tells the story of this dramatic yet little studied tactic which was the strategy of choice for bringing attention to segregationist policies in Southern churches. "Kneel-ins" involved surprise visits to targeted churches, usually during Easter season, and often resulted in physical standoffs with resistant church people. The spectacle of kneeling worshippers barred from entering churches made for a powerful image that invited both local and national media attention. The Memphis kneel-ins of 1964-65 were unique in that the protesters included white students from the local Presbyterian college (Southwestern, now Rhodes). And because the protesting students presented themselves in groups that were "mixed" by race and gender, white church members saw the visitations as a hostile provocation and responded with unprecedented efforts to end them. But when Church officials pressured Southwestern president Peyton Rhodes to "call off" his students or risk financial reprisals, he responded that "Southwestern is not for sale." Drawing on a wide range of sources, including extensive interviews with the students who led the kneel-ins, Haynes tells an inspiring story that will appeal not only to scholars of religion and history, but also to pastors and church people concerned about fostering racially diverse congregations.
Martin Luther King Jr. is widely viewed as an American civil rights leader who applied principled and situational nonviolence in efforts to eradicate racism, poverty, and violence in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. It is too often forgotten that he was also a self-proclaimed world citizen with a global vision, and that he envisioned the advance of globalization long before most of his contemporaries. This book exposes the global King who united in spirit and practice with other world leaders and representatives of the World Council of Churches to promulgate enduring peace and human community. It brings us to a new appreciation of the global King and explains how he continues to inform our understanding of what it means to live and function in the world house.
Healing the Racial Divide retrieves the insights of Dr. Arthur Falls (1901-2000) for composing a renewed theology of Catholic racial justice. Falls was a black Catholic medical doctor who dedicated his life to healing rifts created by white supremacy and racism. He integrated theology, the social sciences, and personal experience to compose a salve that was capable of not only integrating neighborhoods but also eradicating the segregation that existed in Chicago hospitals. Falls was able to reframe the basic truths of the Christian faith in a way that unleashed their prophetic power. He referred to those Catholics who promoted segregation in Chicago as believers in the "mythical body of Christ," as opposed to the mystical body of Christ. The "mythical body of Christ" is a heretical doctrine that excludes African Americans and promotes the delusion that white people are the normative measure of the Catholic faith.

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