Billy Graham, Civil Rights, and the Changing Postwar South

Steven P. Miller

in Politics and Religion in the White South

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780813123639
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134758 | DOI:
Billy Graham, Civil Rights, and the Changing Postwar South

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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

Chapter.  13189 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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