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Politics and Religion in the White South$
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Glenn Feldman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780813123639

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813123639.001.0001

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Billy Graham, Civil Rights, and the Changing Postwar South

Billy Graham, Civil Rights, and the Changing Postwar South

(p.157) 6 Billy Graham, Civil Rights, and the Changing Postwar South
Politics and Religion in the White South

Steven P. Miller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the story of white southerner civil rights activist Billy Graham. It explores Graham's efforts to encourage the American South to accept peacefully the demise of racial segregation as part of his perennial emphasis on individual personal conversion, salvation, and a personal relationship with Christ. It criticizes Graham's support to former U.S. President Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy and suggests that his commitment to the demise of racial segregation had much to do with the realization that his credibility on the national and international stages could never survive a defense of his native region's reactionary racial customs.

Keywords:   Billy Graham, racial segregation, civil rights activist, American South, Richard Nixon, Southern Strategy racial customs

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