Ideological and Theological Tensions Within The Civil Rights Movement

Quotes and Documents found under the Theme "Ideological and Theological Tensions Within The Civil Rights Movement" are personal reflections and documentary evidence of the tensions that existed within the fragile unity of the Civil Rights Movement.  After 1964, the united non-violent Civil Rights Movement, focused on integration and reconciliation, splintered into several groups. Some, like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., continued with a vision of integration and reconciliation, while other groups, like the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael and Cleveland Sellers, began to reject integration and reconciliation and move more towards promoting the concept of Black Power. The interview excerpts and documents, from sometimes very divergent points-of-view, provide opportunities to seek an understanding of the various ideological and theological tensions that existed within the Civil Rights Movement during the years of 1954-1964 and the ideological and theological groundings of the movements that grew out of the Civil Rights Movement between 1965-1973.

Quotes from interviews associated with this theme are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.

"We cannot sit around and talk about the beloved community." Cleveland Sellers
"Black power got to moving so fast that we miscalculated the fallout. I certainly have to take some of the responsibility of that; but there was no way we anticipated the response." Cleveland Sellers
"The churches were a bastion of segregation." Spencer Perkins
"...they turned to cynicism and despair and turned to militancy... None of us realized how strong the evil was that we fought, and how much a part of American power it was, and so were not able to grapple [with] it..." Ed King

Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Theme. Click on a title to see the full record.

Clarence Jordan Christian Community in the South
Ed King Failure of Campaign to Open White Churches, Rise of Black Militancy & Separatism, Confusion about Nonviolence & Christian Love
Ed King Reality of Change (Untitled Document)
Ed King Sixties and Sit-ins
Ed King White Church (Part Four); Section I, "Introduction", The Winter of the Closed Society
Unknown SNCC Policy: "one man-one vote"
1960 Unknown Platforms and Principles of the Mississippi State Democratic Party Adopted in Convention in the City of Jackson
1963 Brewster Kneen Letter from Brewster Kneen to John R. Salter (04/01/1963)
1963 Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church Statement of the Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church
1963 Ed King Jackson Movement, Spring 1963-Church Kneel-Ins
1963 Ed King Jackson Movement, Spring 1963-Part VII
1963 Frank E. Dement Letter from Frank E. Dement, Jr. to Ed King (10/07/1963)
1963 Gerald Forshey Divided Flocks in Jackson
1963 James H. Laird To the Council of Bishops
1963 James Reed Reprint of Articles from the Chicago Daily News, October 1963
John F. Baggett
Philip M. Dripps
Christian Unity, the Methodist Church, and Jackson
Joseph A. Buckles
Martin Deppe
Behold December 1963 Issue
1963 Nicholas Von Hoffman Church Integration Effort in Mississippi: Pro and Con
1963 Nicholas Von Hoffman Methodist-EUB Merger Plan Imperiled by Racial Strife
Richard C. Raines Jr.
John Marvin
Wonders Who Will Implement Council of Bishops' Statement on Race (Letter to the Editor)
1963 Unknown "On Our Knees": The Story of the Jackson Church Visits
1963 Unknown A Visiting Newsman's Guide
1963 Unknown Statement By Ministers
1963 Unknown The Christian Century November 1963 Special Report Issue
1963 Unknown Vantage Point
1964 Mississippi's Metaphysical Mystics
Bill Minter
Michael F. Valente
Reader's Responses
1964 Ed King Summer Plan 1964
1964 Ed King White Church (Part Three) V-A: "'Methodist vs 28', Cabinet"
1964 Ed King White Church (Part Three) V-B: "MAMMAL"
1964 Mona Bazaar Mona Bazaar to Fannie Lou Hamer
1964 Unknown Church News
1964 Unknown Court Extends Ban On Rights Protest in Jackson, Miss.
1964 Unknown For Immediate Release
1964 Unknown The Delta Ministry
1964 Unknown The Travail of Mississippi Methodism
1964 Unknown Untitled Delta Ministry Document
Van Bogard Dunn
A. Jeffrey Hopper
Paul M. Minus Jr.
Everett Tilson
A Statement Prepared by Van Bogard Dunn, A. Jeffrey Hopper, Paul M. Minus Jr., and Everett Tilson
1964 Various Exhibit C - Questionable Morals at Southern Christian Institute Near Edwards, Mississippi (Mt. Beulah)
1964 Various Exhibit F - A File of Educational Documents Relating to Delta Ministry's Operation in Mississippi
1965 Alvin Packer Letter from Alvin Packer to Ruby Robinson
1965 Annell Ponder Annell Ponder to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Arthur Brandenburg Arthur Brandenburg to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Bruce L. Williams It Happened in Jackson
Cec Levinson
Saul Levinson
Cec & Saul Levinson to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Susie Morgan
1965 Delta Ministry Are you Poor? Are you Out of a Job?
1965 Doreas Doreas to Friends
1965 Dorothea Rembrandt Dorothea Rembrandt to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Edward Lee Cole Edward Lee Cole to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Edward P. Moore Jr. Evicted Squatters Await Next Move in Greenville Row: Screaming Demonstrators Curse, Bite Air Police and Threaten Prompt Return Despite Concessions
1965 Edward P. Moore, Jr. Machinery Readied in Plan to Pump Dollars into Delta
1965 G. Dean Zimmermann G. Dean Zimmermann to Governor Paul Johnson
1965 Gordon Brown Shriver Faces Quiz by Stennis
1965 Holmes Alexander Shriver Attempts to Block Misuses
J.H. O'Dell
Fannie Lou Hamer
Life in Mississippi: An Interview with Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Jane Biggers Child Development Head Explains
1965 Kivie Kaplan Kivie Kaplan to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 M.L. Young Dear Editor; M.L. Young to Voice of the People
1965 Mike Mike to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Morris Cunningham Head Start Study Questions Variance in Rentals
1965 Nicholas Von Hoffman Delta Ministry's Role Loses Friend
Robert S. Allen
Paul Scott
Anti-Poverty Funds Slip Away in Salaries, Costs
Selma Thaler
Ed Thaler
Selma & Ed Thaler to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Thatcher Walt NCC Head Says No Connection Between Delta Ministry, COFO
1965 The Associated Press Head Start Staff May Quit Posts
1965 The Associated Press OEO Admits Misuse Of Mt. Beulah Funds
1965 Tom Brown Program Proposal: Transition in the Church from Tom Brown to Jim Forman, Cleveland Sellers, and John Lewis
1965 Unknown Delta Ministry's Main Function is Civil Rights: Staff Members Have Leftist Backgrounds
1965 Unknown Irregularities Found in Head Start Records: Misuse of Funds May Total $300,000
1965 Unknown King and Reuther Backed Mt. Beulah In Original Move to Obtain Fed Funds
1965 Unknown Letter to Fannie Lou Hamer
1965 Unknown Levin Out as Director of Head Start
1965 Unknown Mississippi Leader Charges Justice Department with Bowing to Eastland Demands, Scores Congress in Powell Ouster
1965 Unknown Misuse of Money Charged by Senator
1965 Unknown Mt. Beulah Funds Donated to SNCC
1965 Unknown Mt. Beulah Program Weaknesses Found
1965 Unknown NCC Helping to Launch Mississippi Radio Unit
1965 Unknown Picketing Scheduled to Resume at Mill
1965 Unknown Shriver Denies U.S. Funds Used to Bail CR Agitators
1965 W. C. Shoemaker 'Freedom' Project Opens at Edwards
1965 Wilson Minor COFO Civil Rights Group No Longer Exists in State
1966 Cleveland Sellers Letter from Cleveland Sellers to Central Committee Members
1966 David Llorens Titles, Labels or People?: In Search of Commitment
1966 Delta Ministry Delta Ministry Reports...Greenville Air Base: What Happened, and Why
1966 Ed Riddick The Movement: Quo Vadis, Watchman?
1966 Elizabeth Sutherland Letter from Elizabeth Sutherland to the Editors
1966 Erle Johnston, Jr. Mississippi Delta Ministry (a division of the National Council of Churches).
1966 Eugene Novogrodsky Eugene Novogrodsky to Fannie Lou Hamer
1966 Fay D. Bellamy A Little Old Report
1966 Frank Van Der Linden John Bell Answers Attacks On State
1966 Jack Nelson Ousted Chairman Tells of New Setup in SNCC
1966 James M. Lawson, Jr. Black Power and the Mississippi March
1966 James Peck Black Power: Two Views: 1. Black Racism
1966 Ken Tolliver Delta Ministry Linked to Invasion
1966 Kenneth Tolliver Untitled Newspaper Article - Civil Rights Workers Invade Greenville Air Force Base
1966 M. G. Lowman National Council of Churches in Mississippi Party Politics Offends Churchmen: Carpet-Baggers at their worst!
1966 MANAS The Psychology of Social Morality
1966 Mary Ann Pardue Williams Raps Double Standard Law Forces
1966 Monroe Sharp Cold Turkey
1966 Peter McNamara Peter McNamara to Fannie Lou Hamer
1966 SNCC On Black Power
1966 Unknown Biography: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1966 Unknown Biography: Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1966 Unknown Black Power for Whom?
1966 Unknown Black Power Impact: Slogan Scares Whites Away From CORE, SNCC
1966 Unknown Delta Ministry May Be Behind Seizure At Base
1966 Unknown Ministers Protest Council's Role
1966 Unknown SNCC: Notes and Comments April 1966 Issue
1966 William F. Ryan William F. Ryan to Fannie Lou Hamer
1967 Fannie Lou Hamer Fannie Lou Hamer to Friends
1967 Nan Robertson Severe Hunger Found in Mississippi
1967 Robert Analavage Mississippi Hopes Center in Sunflower
1967 Sandra Nystrom Sandra Nystrom to Fannie Lou Hamer
1968 Drew Pearson Mississippi Has Great Racial Changes Since '64
1968 John Chamberlain These Days: Lincoln As White "Honkie," Pacifist
1968 John Chamberlain These Days: The Ghetto Move to "Green Power"
1968 Unknown Biography of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
1968 Unknown House Passes CR Measure
1968 Unknown LBJ Asks Nation to Deny Violence: Says Law to Prevail
1968 Unknown See 'Apartheid' Society in U.S.
1968 Unknown Untitled Magazine Article - Fannie Lou Hamer's Speech in Cincinnati, Ohio
1970 John Egerton "John Lewis," from A Mind to Stay Here
1972 James Forman Chapter 55: Black Power Stirkes
1972 James Forman Kingston Springs
1972 James Forman Liberation Will Come From a Black Thing
1972 James Forman Power for Black People
1972 James Forman The "Big Five" and the SNCC
1976 Fannie Lou Hamer Autobiography of Fannie Lou Hamer
1976 Lloyd Gray The Glitter is Gone, Out the Fight Goes On
1978 L. C. Dorsey Fannie Lou Hamer
1981 L. C. Dorsey Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer: Human Rights Activist 1917-1977 (A Mini-profile)
John McEntyre
Will D. Campbell
Book Review: The Glad River
Fredrick Mills
Thomas Connelly
Book Review: William Campbell and the Soul of the South
1983 Lloyd Billingsley Enigma of Faith in the Old South
Frye Gaillard
Will D. Campbell
Book Review: 40 Acres and a Goat
1988 Karen O'Connor She Shall Overcome
1988 Nicolaus Mills Heard and Unheard Speeches: What Really Happened at the March on Washington?
Vicki Quade
John Lewis
Where did the Civil Rights Movement Go Wrong?
Andrew Pratt
Will D. Campbell
Book Review: The Convention: A Parable
1989 Charles H. Lippy Twentieth-Century Shapers of American Popular Religion
1989 Linenthal, Edward Tabor Pat Robertson
1989 Unknown W.A. Criswell
1989 Unknown Will D. Campbell
1991 Sharon Bramlett-Solomon Civil Rights Vanguard in the Deep South: Newspaper Portrayal of Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964-1977
1993 Charles Marsh John Lewis Interview Questions and Background
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 7/29/1995
Cleveland Sellers
Charles Marsh
Cleveland Sellers Interview, Denmark, South Carolina, 8/5/1995
1996 Kevin Chappell Where Are the Civil Rights Icons of the '60s?: What Black Activists Are Doing in the 1990s
1997 Will Campbell Elvis Presley as Redneck