Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement

By Vincent Harding | Go to book overview

1
Signs . . . Signs . . .
Turn Visible Again

The Transformative Uses of Biography

One summer night not long ago my family and I found ourselves in the midst of a powerful and unusual learning situation. We had been invited for supper and conversation to a small townhouse apartment in Dorchester, one of the Boston area's most troubled and, in some ways, dangerous communities. There we sat together with some of the new, unsung heroes of the continuing movement for compassionate liberation and hope in this country — a group of Afro-American young men and women in their twenties and early thirties. Most of them were either students at or recent graduates of some of the elite colleges and universities of the Boston/ Cambridge area, and, according to the prevailing wisdom of our time, they should have been somewhere else — preferably on a fast, one-way shuttle toward the pleasures of an upwardly mobile Black middle-class life.

Instead, inspired by profound religious convictions and a politically informed social vision, this group of a dozen or so attractive and highly skilled Black young people had decided to turn their lives toward the broken beauty of the Dorchester and Roxbury communities. While continuing their schooling or earning a living with their considerable talents, they have recently formed a community of hope and commitment, dedicated to

-13-

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Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction - Moving beyond the Boundaries 1
  • 1 - Signs . . . Signs . . . Turn Visible Again 13
  • 2 - Advanced Ideas about Democracy 26
  • 3 - More Power Than We Know 56
  • 4 - Fighting for Freedom with Church Fans 75
  • 5 - God's Appeal to This Age" 91
  • 6 - Gifts of the Black Movement 105
  • 7 - Poets, Musicians, and Magicians 126
  • 8 - Doing the Right Thing in Mississippi and Brooklyn 154
  • 9 - In Search of the World 166
  • 10 - Is America Possible? 177
  • 11 - One Final, Soaring Hope 190
  • 12 - Letters to Teachers in Religious Communities and Institutions 201
  • Acknowledgments 229
  • Notes 235
  • Index of Names and Titles 245
  • About the Author *
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