The Bible — A Focal Point in the Civil Rights Movement

There’s no question, the Bible, the pulpit, and the music of the church provided the energy for the civil rights movement. On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is addressed to “My dear fellow clergymen.” He used biblical examples throughout to defend accusations when he was accused of being an extremist. The black church in the South became a meeting place for community leaders. Preachers used biblical stories as metaphors and symbols of their struggle for freedom. Gospel songs and hymns became “Freedom Songs.”

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