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Local Book Notes: Church Ladies, January 1973 & Liberty Power

"The women of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church were influential leaders in the congregations of Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Senior and Junior," Oretha Winston writes for the Defender.

"Church Ladies: Untold Stories of Harlem Women in the Powell Era, written by Martia G. Goodson, explores these women's lives at the church and their roles in a Northern civil rights movement that took them and their pastor, the fiery Powell Junior, from protests for jobs on Harlem's 125th Street in the 1930s to demonstrations for justice in the halls of the United States Congress in the 1960s.

"The book animates testimony from over a dozen little-recognized women paints a vivid picture of that historic church and the struggles against Jim Crow in New York City and beyond."

January 1973
"January of 1973 was a month, as Lady Bracknell says in The Importance of Being Earnest, 'crowded with incident,'" Graham Yearley writes for the Catholic News Service.

The war in Vietnam was dragging on and the negotiations that had been going on almost as long between Henry Kissinger and the North Vietnamese hadn't produced any peace accord. Richard Nixon, having ordered the intense bombing of Cambodia and North Vietnam at Christmas time in 1972 to jump-start the negotiations, wanted a peace accord to coincide with his second inauguration.

Meanwhile, the trial of the Watergate "burglars" began and ended in that month with the country still unaware of the involvement of the White House in the break-in of the Democratic national headquarters. The inauguration went ahead on Jan. 20 with no peace accord. But the next day, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu sent a letter agreeing with the terms of the treaty Kissinger and the North Vietnamese had struck, so Nixon's great victory came 24 hours too late. Sadly, the peace accord more resembled a cease-fire that only held until mid-February.

On Jan. 22, ex-President Lyndon Johnson died on a plane flying from his ranch to a hospital in San Antonio. The same day, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Roe v. Wade case. The news of Johnson's death briefly overshadowed the shock waves created by the abortion decision.


"January 1973 is a fascinating and readable review of an important month in American history. One might argue other months like August of 1968 or even April of 1865 changed history more profoundly, but it is hard to deny that January of 1973 hardened the rifts in American politics that have led us to the stalemate we live with today."

Liberty Power
"Corey M. Brooks, A York College of Pennsylvania history professor, has written a book entitled Liberty Power on how abolitionist activists built the most transformative third-party movement in American history and effectively reshaped political structures in the decades leading up to the Civil War," the York Daily Record reports. "Liberty Power is published by the University of Chicago Press."

From the University of Chicago Press:

Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party was the first party built on opposition to slavery to win on the national stage - but its victory was rooted in the earlier efforts of under-appreciated antislavery third parties. Liberty Power tells the story of how abolitionist activists built the most transformative third-party movement in American history and effectively reshaped political structures in the decades leading up to the Civil War.

As Corey M. Brooks explains, abolitionist trailblazers who organized first the Liberty Party and later the more moderate Free Soil Party confronted formidable opposition from a two-party system expressly constructed to suppress disputes over slavery. Identifying the Whigs and Democrats as the mainstays of the southern Slave Power's national supremacy, savvy abolitionists insisted that only a party independent of slaveholder influence could wrest the federal government from its grip.

A series of shrewd electoral, lobbying, and legislative tactics enabled these antislavery third parties to wield influence far beyond their numbers. In the process, these parties transformed the national political debate and laid the groundwork for the success of the Republican Party and the end of American slavery.

A City Called Heaven
"Gospel music historian and radio host Robert Marovich will discuss his book A City Called Heaven during a Society of Midland Authors program at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Harold Washington Library Center," the society has announced. "Gods Posse, a gospel chorus, will perform. Admission is free, and no advance reservations are required."

See also: A City Called Heaven.





Comments welcome.


Posted on January 5, 2016

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