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Raising Up A Prophet: The African-American Encounter With Gandhi Paperback – April 22, 1992


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Detailed yet lucid, this useful study persuasively argues that many African Americans encountered and debated Gandhian ideas of nonviolent struggle decades before Martin Luther King Jr. brought them to the forefront of the civil rights movement. Kapur, a lecturer at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, cites extensive coverage of the Indian independence movement in the black press as the strongest proof of such interest. Black intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois maintained a vision of international racial solidarity, while more popular leaders like Marcus Garvey frequently cited India and Gandhi as examples for blacks. Several of Gandhi's English followers and Indian nationalists met with blacks in the U.S., while six black leaders visited India and Gandhi from 1935 to 1937. A. Philip Randolph, the black labor leader who fought job segregation during World War II, began to cite similarities between his methods and those of Gandhi, while the Congress of Racial Equality and other groups adopted Gandhian techniques. However, Ghandhism did not gain mass appeal until King--who heard a sermon on Gandhi in 1950--fused it with the black religious tradition.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this slim book, Kapur shows that Martin Luther King Jr.'s use of Gandhian nonviolent tactics was just the next step on a continuum of African American involvement with Gandhi and his methods. Covering the years from 1919 to 1955, Kapur quotes several newspapers and details all the famous black leaders who met or praised Gandhi. No one can argue with his thoroughness, but one can wonder why he did not choose to more fully address the more interesting question of what made King different from other black leaders who had also used Gandhian tactics. In his book Lay Bare the Heart ( LJ 3/1/85), James Farmer describes several incidents where such tactics were used and states his organization CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), founded in 1942, was organized with those tactics in mind. Why did this veteran champion of civil rights activism end up overshadowed by King? We get hints in Kapur's book, but a more detailed comparison of King, Farmer, A. Phillip Randolph, and Marcus Garvey would have lifted this book from a scholarly thesis to one of general interest. Recommended only for Indian history and black studies collections.
- Anita L. Cole, Miami-Dade P.L. System, Fla.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1St Edition edition (April 22, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807009156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807009154
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,979,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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