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“Doing a Little Something to Pave the Way for Others”

“Doing a Little Something to Pave the Way for Others”

Participants of the Church Visit Campaign to Challenge Jackson’s Segregated Sanctuaries, 1963–1964

(p.138) “Doing a Little Something to Pave the Way for Others”
The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi
Carter Dalton Lyon
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the role of religion in organizing in Mississippi by focusing on the church visitation campaign of 1963–1964 in Jackson, which saw whites and African Americans join hands to challenge segregation and break down the barriers of racial discrimination in the capital city’s all-white Protestant and Catholic churches. As a result, these white churches, including Trinity Lutheran Church and First Christian Church, became a key battleground of the national civil rights movement. Many participants in the campaign later saw it as a turning point in spurring activism in race and other social issues. The ministers who joined the college students in the church visit campaign in Pittsburgh for the Living Memorial considered their effort to be a Christian “witness.” Although the campaign resulted in few victories, it succeeded in making segregation visible in the Christian church.

Keywords:   religion, Mississippi, church visitation, Jackson, whites, segregation, racial discrimination, white churches, civil rights movement, activism

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