John M. Perkins in Conversation with Charles Marsh: Let Justice Roll Down
In this live interview at the University of Virginia, civil rights activist John Perkins talks about his upbringing in rural Mississippi and his subsequent faith-based efforts for racial reconciliation. Perkins talks about the poverty of his childhood home of Simpson County, Mississippi, and his resultant lack of education past the third grade. Perkins discusses his early recognition of the hypocrisy of racially segregated Baptist churches. He notes the tragic 1947 murder of his brother, a World War II veteran, by a police officer, and his later move to California. Perkins discusses his eventual conversion to Christian faith and how the emotional event motivated him to work for civil rights in Mississippi. He talks about how the system of segregation negatively affected both black and white people, and the interfaith efforts to overcome that system during the Civil Rights Movement. Perkins mentions his near-fatal beating in 1970 by police officers and his desire to bring about racial reconciliation through the Gospel. At the end of the interview, several audience members ask Perkins about topics including the prison system and bringing Christianity to young people.