The Civil Rights Act At 50: Reflections On Prophecy And Promise
A Conversation And Book Signing With Acclaimed Authors
Clay Risen & Jonathan Rieder At The Riverside Church
Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m.
The historic Riverside Church in New York City will host The Civil Rights Act at 50: Reflections on Prophecy and Promise – a panel discussion / conversation with authors Clay Risen (The Bill of the Century), a New York Times editor; and Jonathan Rieder (Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail and the Struggle), a noted Barnard College sociologist, on Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Church’s Assembly Hall, 91 Claremont Ave. (bet. 120th & 122nd Sts.), Morningside Heights.
Admission to the event is free, however as reservations are requested, please register at: http://civilrightsact.eventbrite.com. Books will be available for purchase as well as autographs from the authors, following the program.
As detailed in Bill of the Century, Risen will provide insight into the politics going on behind the scenes, exploring the high drama of the maneuvering that would eventuate in that epic piece of legislation—all from within the context of Kennedy’s ambivalent relationship to civil rights, the Kennedy assassination and the ascension of Lyndon Johnson as President.
Rieder explores from a different perspective, one that is recounted in Gospel of Freedom, unveiling how protests led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the black youth who braved Bull Connor’s firehoses and dogs were the ones who aroused the conscience of the nation, forced Kennedy’s hand and set in motion the process that would lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Excerpts from rare audio tapes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exhorting in the Birmingham mass meetings, in which he heralds the physical courage and moral courage of black demonstrators and shows that he was privy to their impact on President Kennedy, will be played during the event.
Joining the two acclaimed authors to explore one of the single most important pieces of legislation passed by Congress in American history, will be a distinguished panel of experts including: Arnold Eisen (Jewish Theological Seminary); Rev. Freeman Palmer (Associate Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ); and Dr. Emily Anderson (CUNY Professor and a former sit in demonstrator as a teen in South Carolina).
Riverside’s Senior Minister Emeritus, the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. will offer introductory remarks during this insightful look at the spiritual and historical aspects of the movement and why it still matters. The event is sponsored by The Ministry of Education at The Riverside Church and The Riverside Book Club.