Friday, October 12, 2012

CitySquare's Urban Engagement Book Club Reviews 'The Accommodation',, October 18th

"Peter Johnson was working hard and fast to show the homeowners where to find sources of power that were unfettered by connections to the white power structure and, what may have been tougher, to develop their own power free of obligations to the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the rest of the old black power structure. Johnson made sure that black people in Dallas would hear what major figures in the Civil Rights Movement believed about all this talk of Dallas as a model of modern race relations. He brought a very young Jesse Jackson to town, and Jackson read the law to everyone who came to hear him speak at Warren United Methodist Church on Oakland Avenue. 

"Dallas is wicked city," Jackson thundered. "I saw the downtown skyscrapers and I saw the great buildings built by fortunes that came out of oil exploration...but I have seen in H.L. Hunt's town white people starving."

"He pledged ;war;to bring economic welfare to the black people of Dallas. But Jackson told his listeners one major and significant untruth. He promised the national Civil Rights Movement, having discovered the plight of black people in Dallas, had come to stay: 'We ain't just passing through town," Jackson said. 'We ain't camping in Dallas. We're gonna live here for a while."

"As for the George Allens and the S.J. Wrights of the world, the Fair Park homeowners movement was to be their Waterloo, although it would be many years before they recognized the real dimension of the political defeat they had suffered there. For one thing, Peter Johnson and the SCLC started saying things about the traditional black leadership that had never been said before in public. Willie Bolden of the SCLC national staff came to Dallas to help carry out a study of hunger in the city and quickly became involved with Johnson in Fair Park..."

--The Accommodation, by Jim Schutze

Come to CitySquare's Public Policy Department's Urban Engagement Book Club, at First United Methodist Church, 1928 Ross Avenue, October 18, 12:00p - 1:30p. for a review of the 'The Accommodation' and meet Jim Schutze and Peter Johnson. I look forward to meeting you!

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