Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Publishes "Race Prejudice in the North"

Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Publishes "Race Prejudice in the North"

Correspondence with June Bingham

Princeton, New Jersey

Nov 15

Dear June:
Ursula and I were delighted with your objective account of the pains of defeat, which actually was a classic account and very impressive. I hope Jack will enjoy the law for a season until a more propitious time. It was certainly unfortunate that he should have been involved in that landslide.

I haven't read Moats book though Felix D. Frank: furter wrote me about Dennis brogan's review of the book in the London Times Literary supplement. About his reference to my successor the facts are always more complicated than a simple history of them.

The mayor of Detroit appointed me chair of an interracial commission, after we had some post-war race riots. As a result four Negro families came more and more regularly to my church. They were all professional people, and most of our people were proud to have them come to our church. But they had positions of responsibility in their churches and both they and their churches rejected the idea of joining us for obvious reasons. I had taken up the matter of their membership with my official board and they were very willing, though I confess I don't know what would have been the attitude if there had been a large influx. But the matter was in abeyance because of the reluctance of the Negroes. They always taught in their own Sunday schools before coming to our church. There the matter stood, when I resigned to go to Union. It was explained to my successor, a cocky young man who announced a series of sermons on the issue which were published widely and thoroughly bedeviled the problem. He was not dismissed on that issue but because of many factors, but that issue was raised in the final meeting.

Excuse this long letter. We are keeping busy with final revisions on the damned book after criticisms by Kennan and Morgenthau, two splendid critics.

Love to both of you

Reinhold Niebuhr Papers: Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room

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Paul Elie

is senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

is an author and Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robin Lovin

is Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism.