Get Religion’s Terry Mattingly comments on this NYT article describing a number of new books on Southern history that in some ways (quite unevenly, to my mind) complicate our picture of the post-Civil Rights era south. I reviewed one of the books discussed in the article here.
I’d add, just for the sake of a clarifying anecdote, that the "classical and Christian school" attached to my theologically conservative church has a student body that is very diverse (50/50 or 60/40, but which way, I’m not sure) and that our South Carolina born and bred pastor welcomed to the pulpit this past Sunday a Haitian--Jean Paul Baptiste--who’s building a conservative Presbyterian church in his home country. And did I mention that we have an ESL outreach ministry to local Hispanics? Yeah, it’s a complicated narrative. From where I sit, it looks like the religion is squashing the racism.
Update: Lest you think that my story is too metropolitan, consider this: a former student, who pastors a Methodist church in a small southeast Georgia town (known largely for this sweet delight), popped his head in my office about a month ago. He had lots of interesting stories to tell as we caught up. Some of the most interesting were about his many trips to east Africa, where his congregation sponsors a school.
Oh, and I should mention that when I said that Jean Paul Baptiste is building a church, I meant it. Right now, his congregation of 600 meets outdoors. If you want to help, drop me a line and I’ll tell you where to send the check.