FATHER DIVINE by Robert Weisbrot


Age Range: 12 & up
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 The latest entry in the fine ``Black Americans of Achievement'' series introduces an evangelist who was so well known in his time that a postcard from overseas addressed to ``God/Harlem/USA'' was (properly--according to many of his followers) delivered to him. At the height of the Depression, Father Divine established a wildly successful ministry, informally known as the Peace Mission, that not only gave thousands of people jobs and a sense of purpose and community but also provided millions of hearty meals, set up scores of small businesses, and openly and peacefully promoted civil rights and racial integration. Weisbrot (the longer Father Divine and the Struggle for Racial Equality, 1983) paints an admiring portrait of a flashy, savvy, incorruptible preacher and social activist whose personal integrity and confrontational but nonviolent style won many friends and quiet victories. As Father Divine aged, the Peace Mission became less active; the author closes with a few words about its postwar activities and an analysis of Divine's place in the history of the civil-rights movement. Plenty of b&w photos; chronology; bibliography; index. (Biography. 12+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-7910-1122-4
Page count: 120pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1992