The role of the christian church in the black civil rights movement in the united states

Prior to this, Rustin, in New York City, conceived the idea of initiating such an effort and first sought C. Steele to make the call and take the lead role. Steele declined, but told Rustin he would be glad to work right beside him if he sought King in Montgomery, for the role. Their goal was to form an organization to coordinate and support nonviolent direct action as a method of desegregating bus systems across the South.

The role of the christian church in the black civil rights movement in the united states

It used both litigation and direct action to pursue its goals.

The Second Great Awakening and "Hush Harbors"

On December 25,unknown persons tried to kill Shuttlesworth by placing sixteen sticks of dynamite under his bedroom window. Shuttlesworth somehow escaped unhurt even though his house was heavily damaged.

A police officer, who also belonged to the Ku Klux Klantold Shuttlesworth as he came out of his home, "If I were you I'd get out of town as quick as I could".

Shuttlesworth told him to tell the Klan that he was not leaving and "I wasn't raised to run. Shuttlesworth and his church endured three bombings, the first on December 25, The SCLC adopted a motto to underscore its commitment to nonviolence: He was not shy in asking King to take a more active role in leading the fight against segregation and warning that history would not look kindly on those who gave "flowery speeches" but did not act on them.

He alienated some members of his congregation by devoting as much time as he did to the movement at the expense of weddings, funerals, and other ordinary church functions.

As a result, inShuttlesworth moved to Cincinnati, Ohioto take up the pastorage of the Revelation Baptist Church. He remained intensely involved in the Birmingham campaign after moving to Cincinnati, and frequently returned to help lead actions.

Shuttlesworth was apparently personally fearless, even though he was aware of the risks he ran. Other committed activists were scared off or mystified by his willingness to accept the risk of death.

Shuttlesworth himself vowed to "kill segregation or be killed by it". The mob beat Shuttlesworth with chains and brass knuckles in the street while someone stabbed his wife. Shuttlesworth drove himself and his wife to the hospital where he told his kids to always forgive. InShuttlesworth survived another attempt on his life.

A church member standing guard saw a bomb and quickly moved it to the street before it went off. Shuttlesworth originally warned that Alabama was extremely volatile when he was consulted before the Freedom Rides began. Shuttlesworth noted that he respected the courage of the activists proposing the Rides but that he felt other actions could be taken to accelerate the Civil Rights Movement that would be less dangerous.

After it became certain that the Freedom Rides were to be carried out, Shuttlesworth worked with the Congress of Racial Equality to organize the Rides [4] and became engaged with ensuring the success of the rides, especially during their stint in Alabama.

After the Riders were badly beaten and nearly killed in Birmingham and Anniston during the Rides, he sent deacons to pick up the Riders from a hospital in Anniston. He himself had been brutalized earlier in the day and had faced down the threat of being thrown out of the hospital by the hospital superintendent.

However, the actions of supporters like Shuttlesworth gave James Farmer, the leader of C. Kennedy gave Shuttlesworth his personal phone number in case the Freedom Riders needed federal support. Unfortunately, his efforts eventually proved unsuccessful. The Riders then decided to take a plane to New Orleans where they had planned on finishing the Rides and were assisted by Shuttlesworth in getting to the airport and onto the plane.

Nash noted, Fred was practically a legend. I think it was important — for me, definitely, and for a city of people who were carrying on a movement — for there to be somebody that really represented strength, and that's certainly what Fred did.

He would not back down, and you could count on it. He would not sell out, [and] you could count on that. Shuttlesworth's fervent passion for equality made him a role model to many of the Riders. While Shuttlesworth was willing to negotiate with political and business leaders for peaceful abandonment of segregation, he believed, with good reason, that they would not take any steps that they were not forced to take.

He suspected their promises could not be trusted until they acted on them. One of the demonstrations he led resulted in Shuttlesworth's being convicted of parading without a permit from the City Commission. On appeals the case reached the US Supreme Court.

In This Article

In its decision of Shuttlesworth v. Birminghamthe Supreme Court reversed Shuttlesworth's conviction, determining that circumstances indicated that the parade permit was denied not to control traffic, as the state contended, but to censor ideas.

InShuttlesworth was set on provoking a crisis that would force the authorities and business leaders to recalculate the cost of segregation.

Even as the business class was beginning to see the end of segregation, Connor was determined to maintain it. While Connor's direct police tactics intimidated black citizens of Birmingham, they also created a split between Connor and the business leaders.Beginning as a “gathered church” in , First Church is the second oldest Black Congregational Church in the United States.

Located in downtown Atlanta on Courtland Street and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, the church was established when formerly enslaved African Americans petitioned for a church .

While it is the case that conservatives in the old Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS, often called “the Southern Presbyterian Church”), taken as a group, opposed the Civil Rights movement, the story is a little bit more complex than that in two ways.

On the one hand, thinking of the role of black churches during the Civil War and Reconstruction, during the Progressive Era, or during the civil rights movement suggests that the African American church historically has taken an activist and progressive role in the public realm.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African-American civil rights organization.

The role of the christian church in the black civil rights movement in the united states

SCLC, which is closely associated with its first president, Martin Luther King Jr., had a large role in the American civil rights movement. Frederick Lee "Fred" Shuttlesworth (born Fred Lee Robinson, March 18, – October 5, ), was a U.S.

civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, initiated and was instrumental in the Birmingham Campaign, and continued to work against.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York by prominent black and white intellectuals and led by W.E.B.

Du the next half century, it would serve as the country's most influential African-American civil rights organization, dedicated to political equality and social justice In , its journal, The .

God In America: The Black Church | PBS