This Worldwide Struggle
This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement examines a group of black Christian intellectuals and activists who looked abroad, even to other religious traditions, for ideas and practices that could transform American democracy. From the 1930s to the 1950s, this core group drew lessons from independence movements around for the world for an American campaign that would be part of a global network of resistance to
colonialism and white supremacy. This book argues that their religious perspectives and methods of moral reasoning developed a theological blueprint for what Bayard Rustin called the "classical phase" of the Civil Rights Movement.
Existing scholarship on the book's main figures, including Howard Thurman, Benjamin Mays, and William Stuart Nelson, pioneers of African American Christian nonviolence James Farmer, Pauli Murray, and Bayard Rustin, and YWCA leaders Juliette Derricotte and Sue Bailey Thurman, focuses on individuals and misses important streams of influence and creative collaborations. This book traces fertile intersections of worldwide resistance movements, explores American racial politics and interreligious
exchanges that crossed literal borders and disciplinary boundaries, enriches our understanding of the international roots of the Civil Rights Movement, and offers lessons on the role of religion in justice movements.