As the Civil Rights Movement begins to coalesce, pastors and church members begin to bring civil rights to national attention through mass meetings, bus boycotts and non-violent resistance to Jim Crow laws.
1954 Brown vs. Board of Education rules that segregation in public schools violates the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution.
1955 In violation of segregation laws, African-American Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, leading to the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
1957 “Southern Leadership Conference on Transportation and Nonviolence” is formed at Atlanta’s Ebeneezer Baptist Church and Martin Luther King, Jr. is chosen as the Chairman.
Quotes from interviews associated with this scene are listed below. To see excerpts from interview transcripts, click on the associated Excerpts link below each quote.
"If I was an exceptional human being in Detroit, then I saw no reason why I couldn't be an exceptional human being in Mississippi. In Hattiesburg. "
—Victoria Gray Adams
"I think what ended up getting our family involved in the civil rights movement was the way we looked at the scripture and the heavy emphasis on God's concern for the poor and on justice. "
"I believe God was in Christ, not will be, perhaps, maybe if we're good boys and girls, it's over, it's done, we are one people, race is a violation, nations are a violation…"
—Will D. Campbell
"...my coming back to Montgomery wasn’t by accident... But it was something that I came to do because it was what I wanted to do. "
"...I tried to impress upon young people especially, that it is not by might... [not by] all that you know, but it is... by [the] willingness to listen to your peers and to your elders, and also by the grace of God that we have come a long way."
—Johnnie Rebecca Daniels Carr
"[Maintain] a calm and loving dignity [and do not] deliberately sit by a white person, unless there is no seat."
"[The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission operated as] something akin to NKVD (the public and secret police in the Soviet Union during the reign of Joseph Stalin) among the cotton patches. "
"And I said to my wife, I said 'Honey, if we gonna make it different in Menden Hall... We’re gonna have to stay in town long enough that we can... help them get a love for God, a love for themselves, and a love for the community.'"
"I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before... Almost at once my fears began to go... My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."
—Martin Luther King
"In 1956, I was talking on the campus of Mississippi State University during a religious emphasis week... I said segregation is incompatible with Christian Gospel."
"But we remember that as we boycott that the boycott is not an end within itself....[The] end is reconciliation the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community."
—Martin Luther King
Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's
Civil Rights Archive associated with this Scene. Click on a title to see the full record.