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The Gospel of the Working ClassLabor's Southern Prophets in New Deal America$
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Erik S. Gellman and Jarod Roll

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036309

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036309.001.0001

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Clods of Southern Earth

(p.151) Conclusion
The Gospel of the Working Class

Erik S. Gellman

Jarod Roll

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter traces developments in Claude Williams's and Owen Whitfield's activism throughout the Cold War years. PIAR leaders believed democracy could flourish in postwar America now that working people had defeated fascism abroad, and continued to make progress even as the United States entered the Cold War and the red scare had made things especially difficult for the group—and particularly for Williams. In addition, the chapter reflects on the shared faith between Williams and Whitfield, as well as their practical approach to religion and social reform. It charts the legacy of these men and their successful crossing over the racial and gender divides. Furthermore, the chapter contends that their attempts to empower ordinary people to fight for social and economic justice and claim the redemptive, democratic promises of the American political tradition should give us pause.

Keywords:   Claude Williams, Owen Whitfield, Cold War, applied religion, Zella Whitfield, Joyce Williams, communism, race, gender, social justice

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