The Last Segregated Hour: The Memphis Kneel-Ins and the Campaign for Southern Church Desegregation

The Last Segregated Hour: The Memphis Kneel-Ins and the Campaign for Southern Church Desegregation

By: Stephen Haynes (author)Hardback

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On Palm Sunday 1964, at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, a group of black and white students began a "kneel-in" to protest the church's policy of segregation-a protest that would continue in one form or another for more than a year and eventually force the church to open its doors to black worshippers. In The Last Segregated Hour Stephen Haynes tells the story of this dramatic yet little studied tactic adopted by protesters in the struggle for civil rights. "Kneel-ins" were the strategy of choice for bringing attention to segregationist policies in Southern churches. These protests involved surprise visits to targeted churches, usually during Easter season, and often resulted in physical standoffs. The spectacle of kneeling worshippers barred from entering the church made for a powerful image, and invited both local and national media attention. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including extensive interviews with students who led the kneel-ins and church members who opposed them, Haynes tells an inspiring story that will appeal not only to scholars of religion and history, but also to pastors and church people concerned about the Church's witness in a racially divided society.

About Author

Stephen Haynes is Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College and the author of many books, including Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians and Noah's Curse (OUP 2002).


Part I: Kneel-Ins and Church Desegregation ; Chapter 1: Southern Churches and Civil Rights ; Chapter 2: The Practice of Church Protest: Decatur, Albany, Birmingham, Jackson, Atlanta, Montgomery ; Chapter 3: On Their Knees: An Anatomy of Church Kneel-Ins ; Part II: The Kneel-In Movement in Memphis ; Chapter 4: Memphis before King: The Long Fight against Segregation ; Chapter 5: The Facade Fractures: A Church, a College, and a Cause ; Chapter 6: Black and White Together: Views from the Church Steps ; Chapter 7: Locking Arms or Looking Away: Views from the Sanctuary ; Chapter 8: The Story Goes National: Views from Afar ; Chapter 9: Shame, Defiance, Punishment, and Schism: The 1965 General Assembly and the Birth of Independent Presbyterian Church ; Part III: The Legacy of the "Second Presbyterian Controversy" ; Chapter 10: The Afterlife of Protest: "Radical" Students Look Back ; Chapter 11: The Children: Remembering Church Trauma ; Chapter 12: Confronting the PAst: The Quest for Reconciliation at Second Presbyterian Church ; Chapter 13: The Past That Will Not Stay Past: Independent Presbyterian Church ; Epilogue: The Romance of Howard and Hortense ; Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780195395051
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 336
  • ID: 9780195395051
  • weight: 568
  • ISBN10: 0195395050

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