Will D. Campbell
Rev. Will Campbell worked with the National Council of Churches in the late 1950s, was a radical Baptist during the Civil Rights Movement, and the author of such books as Brother to a Dragonfly, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1978. Born a farmer's son in Amite County, Mississippi in 1924, Campbell was ordained as a minister by his Baptist congregation at the age of 17. He went on to serve in World War II before attending Wake Forest University, Duke University, and Yale Divinity School.
Campbell was one of four people who escorted new African American students integrating public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), he was the only white person present. Yet Campbell complained about the Civil Rights Movement's priorities: why had organizers been singularly concerned with access to public bathrooms, coffee shops and waiting rooms in bus stations? He argued that these were the last places you could expect to find the men who controlled the social arrangements. If white power was the real culprit, Campbell insisted, then stage sit-ins at the Rotary Club or during the mid-summer debutante cotillion and seek instead to reform the culture of the white church. Campbell was also controversial because he was known to minister to members of the Klu Klux Klan, whom he believed to also be in need of God’s grace.
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Find below primary and secondary resources located in the Project on Lived Theology's Civil Rights Archive associated with this Actor. Click on a title to see the full record.