Watchtower Endorsed Segregation in 1919

by trujw 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • trujw

    In the October 1919 Golden Age magazine on page 8 under "Negro Education in Cincinnati" Said the following " A wise segregation is probably an advantage to all concerned" The article is about a school for African Americans. My computer would not let me cut and paste the article here for some reason. Can someone help me and paste the article. The reason I posted was sometimes you get people who say the Watchtower has always been for integration when America wasn't and it is a "sign" they are the truth.

  • sir82

    The Watchtower endorsed segregation in congregations & assemblies through the early 1970's, in the US South. There is a "Questions Fromn Readers" WT article about the practice some time in the early 50's, too, where they justify the practice.

  • Quendi

    When I studied with the Witnesses, it was back in 1974 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The congregation I associated with had only integrated that year, having been composed entirely of black people before that. Integration was done by the WTS sending white publishers to attend meetings with the black congregation there. The Witnesses I talked to told me about the segregated congregations and circuits the WTS had in the Deep South and how that arrangement had ended only a few years prior to my study.

    Mind you, the Jim Crow laws which mandated segregation in the South had been repealed back in the 1960s, but the WTS dragged its feet in following suit. The only integrated meetings Witnesses had were the district and international conventions back then. Strangely enough, many (though not all) Witnesses on both sides of the color line were content with the arrangement. I think the only reason changes were made was because of the rapid influx of new people—this was the pre-1975 period when hundreds of thousands were getting baptized—and these new converts demanded an end to the racist arrangement.

    There was some resistance, especially from old-timers who liked things the way they had been. But once the decision was made to integrate, the rank-and-file fell in line and there was very little friction or trouble. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Witnesses realized they couldn’t preach a new world of peace and harmony if they weren’t willing to live that way themselves. They were going to have to practice what they preached if their message was to ring true.

    But even with integrated circuits many congregations remained segregated. Much of that was due to the housing patterns in the South which remained largely unchanged. So local congregations tended to reflect the demographics of the communities that composed their territories. That also reinforced many cultural differences and stereotypes. From what I could see when I lived in Alabama in 2012, most Witness congregations are still segregated.


  • Phizzy

    So, Jesus obviously approved of Segregation whan He chose them in 1919 !

  • sosoconfused

    I grew up in North Carolina in the 80's and the black friends sat in the back of the hall ever so nicely.

    They had an attendant constantly at the rear of the hall and whenever a black family came in (my own i9ncluded) they were always placed in the last 5 rows of the hall.

    There were no black Elders only MS's. The worst part is that in 1984 they sent in a C.O. to address the issue and from that point forward they stopped the practice.

  • Quendi


Share this