Religion: The Black Church: Three Views

FOR most of white America, the black church is an alien segment of the nation's culture, hidden behind the plain facades of large brick city churches, the rude clapboard of country chapels, the salvation-emblazoned windows of tattered store fronts. It is a montage of impressions, some real, some misleading: the low-moaning spirituals, the clapping and the shouted amens; the phenomenon of a Father Divine and the curious charisma once possessed by the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell; the prophetic, nation-shaking philosophy of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the pragmatic, neighborhood-building politics of a Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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