Depression/New Deal, World War II, and the 1960s civil rights movement.
In the chapters that follow, all of this becomes clear. For the bishops, the changes
in the state impacted what they had planned to do. In Bishop Gunn's case, for
example, he built churches and was concerned with his congregations' accessibility
to these churches. But he was also very much in the forefront of confronting the
issue of black clergy within the South, especially Mississippi, strongly supporting
St. Augustine's Seminary.
Bishop Gerow, on the other hand, steered clear of politics except in those
instances where he was asked to cooperate or where he thought the church's position
was being infringed upon. As for race, his abhorrence of violence was so intense
that he accepted the status quo until the Medgar Evers assassination. Then he, too,
changed his position. Finally, Bishop Joseph Brunini directly got involved in what
was going on, particularly in the areas of school integration and social justice. He
encouraged the aging Bishop Gerow to announce his 1964 and 1965 school
integration policies. Also, Bishop Brunini was one of the founders and leaders of
the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference and committed the Mississippi
Catholic Church to taking an active role in the political, economic, and social life
of the state in which the church resided and of which it was very much a part.
How all this happened, the costs involved, and the long-term effects these
developments had are the subject of what follows in Part I.
See, for example, Neil McMillen, Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim
Crow (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1989); The Citizens' Council: Organized
Resistance to the Second Reconstruction ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).
See Richard McLemore, ed., A History of Mississippi, 2 vols. ( Jackson: University
Press of Mississippi, 1973); James Cobb, The Selling of the South, 2d ed. ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993).
Twelve Southerners, I'll Take My Stand ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1973 reprint).
See, for example, David Sansing, Mississippi: Its People and Culture ( Minneapolis: T.
S. Denison, 1981); Ray Skates, Mississippi: A Bicentennial History ( New York: Norton, 1979).
James Cobb and
Michael Namorato, eds., The New Deal and the South ( Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984); Roger Biles, The South and the New Deal
( Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1995).
George Tindall, The Emergence of the New South, 1913-1945 ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana
State University Press, 1967), Chapters 16-20; Charles Roland, The Improbable Era: The
South since World War II, rev. ed. ( Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1976), Chapter
Emory Hawk, Economic History of the South (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1973 reprint), Chapters 16-17.
David Goldfield, "The South," in
Stanley Kutler, ed., Encyclopedia of the United States
in the Twentieth-Century ( New York: MacMillan Library Reference, 1996), pp. 61-77; David Sansing, Making Haste Slowly: The Troubled History of Higher Education in
Mississippi ( Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990).