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

ISBN : 9780195395051

Stephen Haynes
336 ページ
162 x 238 mm

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.


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


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).