There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Lewis V. Baldwin | Go to book overview

3
HOW I GOT OVER
ROOTS IN THE BLACK CHURCH

The Negro church touches almost every ramification of the
life of the Negro.

Carter G.Woodson, 1939'

The church has always been a second home for me. As far
back as I can remember I was in church every Sunday.

Martin Luther King, Jr., 19502

How I got over,

How I got over,

My soul looks back and wonders,

How I got over.

Black Gospel Song3

The influence of the black church on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, personal and intellectual formation was as

1. Carter G. Woodson, “The Negro Church, An All-Comprehending
Institution,” The Negro History Bulletin, 3, no. 1 (October 1939): 7.

2. Martin Luther King, Jr., “An Autobiography of Religious Devel-
opment” (Unpublished document, The King Papers, Mugar Memorial
Library, Boston University, Boston, Mass., n.d., circa 1950), 8.

3. Tony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times
(New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1975), 65 ff.; and Martin Luther
King, Jr., “Ingratitude,” a sermon delivered at the Ebeπezer Baptist
Church, Atlanta, Ga. (The Archives of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center
for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, 18 June 1967), 8.

-159-

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There Is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Cast Down Your Bucket Back Home to an Old Southern Place 15
  • 2: Walk Together,Children Family Heritage 91
  • 3: How I Got Over Roots in the Black Church 159
  • 4: Up, You Mighty Race! the Black Messianic Hope 229
  • 5: Standing in the Shoes of John 273
  • Conclusion 337
  • Index 340
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