Does any one remember when the cong's were segregated in the South?

by Victorian sky 61 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Victorian sky
    Victorian sky

    Last night I watched the ABC special on the 40th Anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. A memory came back to me of the last District Convention I attented. It was in West Palm Beach (anyone ever been to the leake teepe?) The talk was all about how Jehovah protects his people and progressively reveals new light Then the speaker causually brings up the fact that congregations were segregated in the South, many until the mid 1970s, AFTER the Civil Rights laws passed in Congress. I was stunned. I never knew that. I looked around and that seemed okay with all the dubs, they listened attentively as the speaker reminisced about what an adjustment it was for the white and black brothers to get together. That many liked the congregations as they were! I couldn't believe it. I kept looking around, nobody seemed the least bit upset. The speaker went onto say that the cong's were segregated for their protection and in obedience to the government. I thought it then and I think it now - It's sick they were ever segregated, and some way beyond the time desegregation took place, there is no excuse for that, where was the loving, impartial brotherhood then? It always bothered me that JWs didn't get involved with the Civil Rights movement like other religions did, like the Southern Baptists who risked their lives for their brother. Funny how the Society disobeys the government when it suits them. Was anyone here in a segregated cong? Or was anyone a JW during that time and what did you think of the Society's lack of involvement? - V Sky

  • obiwan

    I lived in Mississippi when I was 14 back in 1983, and if I remember correctly it was 1979 that they segregated the congregation..I think. That very subject had come up because of some friction that could still be sensed in the air. I have to say, the brothers and sisters in the cong did try very hard at implementing it.

    At least that was the case for the cong that I attended.

  • czarofmischief

    Well sure. Most of the RnF are actually really nice people that would try to correct something as unholy as institutionlizedracism.

    In what sense were the congregations segregated? like, a black brother COULDN'T go to a whtie meeting?

    This was all before my time, sorry...


  • obiwan

    Yeah czar, there were white cong's and black cong's. I guess it was really difficult to get that instituted though.

  • Sea Hag
    Sea Hag

    Yes, when I moved where the need was great from NYC to Memphis in 1957 the congregations were segregated as was the schools. The schools were desegregated in the early 60's, but I'm sure the "brothers & sisters" fought to keep the congregations segregated longer than that.

  • JCanon

    Interesting. My response to that is that probably the witness organization responded fast enough to what they had to deal with. Some of the "issues" involved, though, was their preaching work and the violence of whites against anyone trying to mix the races. Remember when blacks started to be bussed to white schools or the first black person to try to attend a white college how that incensed everybody? With the persecution already happening with the witnesses and their need in many countries to go "underground", probably integrating before the culture did didn't even come up. But as soon as it was possible they did integrate.

    But even now in the South, some blacks are reluctant to go to the integrated Kingdom Halls since they feel it's a betrayal. Seems as though the blacks are more content to withdraw into their own comfort zone rather than to integrate though mixed couples are very common in the South.

    But finally, from a scriptural point of view, racism is a focal factor in describing Christendom and thus the Euro-Western culture itself in comparison to the witness organization who by contrast are the most racially adjusted group of note around. This contrast relates to the "666" name of the beast coming out of the sea and the Lamb-Dragon beast who comes out of the earth not having the 666. The sea represents Christendom and the "earth" represents things related to God's approved organization, the Bible, etc. Thus the Lamb-Dragon beast represents the Governing Body who becomes apostate, but none the less is not the generally racist organization and culture that characterizes Euro-Christianity, ranging from issues in the South(Martin Luther King, Jr) and South Africa or India (Ghandi), to Hitler's Nazi regime. In fact, the "Gog of Magog", made of the white children of Magog, the grandson of Noah through Japheth who is said to have fathered the white races generally, is the destroyer of Israel during the Holocaust, but who will rise again even after the millennium. The focal doctrine of Gog of Magog is self worhip via race worship and the cultural worship that goes along with it.

    Converting the number "666" into a "name" means substituting the numbers for letters. The 666, referencing Christendom relates to their ingrained trinity doctrine which has the numerical formula of 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 1. Three gods, yet one god. 666 is three numbers yet one number. To apply the formula to a name you add up the three numbers to get 18 and then add the number of those numbers, which is 3 to get 21 then apply that to the number of that letter in the Hebrew alphabet. That would have been the basic formula. But, since the trinity doctrine claims there are not three numbers but 1 number, that formula is substituted for the 3. Thus you only add 1 to 18 for the number of digits, thus your final number is 19. You then apply the 19th letter x 3 to substitute for the three 6's. You can find this at Psalms 111 (not an accident). The 19th letter is "qoph" or "koph" which spells out "QQQ" which has no modern meaning, or "KKK" which obviously does and references Euroracism as a characteristic of Euro-Christendom.

    The witness organization, is a shining example of how well different cultures can blend, though, and the witnesses seem to have great pride in this area in particular.


  • shotgun

    Hi Canon

    You always have a way of simply stating the facts and making it so much easier for people like myself to follow in 1000 words or less.

  • Joyzabel

    in Marietta GA they de-segregated in 1972!

    I was at the Atlanta International 8 day assemly in 1969 and was horrified to find out the south was segregated!! In STL we went through lots of problems. Our congo was in the black part of town (mixed congo) and was constantly harrassed. But to think in the south they were still segregated, that should have opened my eyes then.


  • Room 215
    Room 215

    This is perhaps unfair to say, since insisting upon integration under such corcumstances would have caused untold problems, not to mention bloodshed; but I think that this is another example of pragmatism over principle that characterized the Knorr era.

    At Bethel, when one construction/installation project or another was stalled because of a bureaucratic delay in granting permits (Satan's government's obstruction to the Lord's work, don't you know), it wasn't uncommon that workers wer told to proceed, get fined and then to pay the fine. The attitude, unspoken but pervasive, was ``we're locked in a life-and-death struggle with the Devil so you can't play b Marquis of Quuesbury rules"

  • maxwell

    Sea Hag said,

    Yes, when I moved where the need was great from NYC to Memphis in 1957 the congregations were segregated as was the schools. The schools were desegregated in the early 60's, but I'm sure the "brothers & sisters" fought to keep the congregations segregated longer than that.

    My dad grew up in Memphis. His parents came into content with the JW around the early to mid-50's. We are black so they of course attended black congregations. They were in the Fairhaven congregation. I wonder if you ever had contact with that congregation. I have heard my dad and others talk about the less tactful black traveling overseers (not less tactful than whites overseers, just less tactful than any traveling overseer these days) from that time but not too much about integration. My dad graduated in 1967 from Booker T. Washington High School. I've seen my dad's year book and this school was still all black at least till 1967. I suppose that because it was an inner city school (i.e. in the middle of a black neighborhood), it may have been impossible to integrate it.

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