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In the summer of 1955, Lutheran Church officials sent a young white West Virginian preacher to Montgomery, Alabama, to pastor an all-black congregation. Six months later, he and his family would be thrust into a second American Revolution. Join us on Thursday, January 18, at 12 noon for the next ArchiTreats: Food for Thought program at the Alabama Department of Archives and History when Reverend Robert Graetz presents “A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation: Based on His Experiences Beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” Graetz will discuss his memoir, which follows him through the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights movement, to the twenty-first century fight for equality.
When Bob Graetz and his wife, Jeannie, and their two children moved to the Deep South, they took the then-controversial step of living in Montgomery’s black community. Among the friends they soon made were Raymond and Rosa Parks. When Rosa Parks was arrested, Bob and Jeannie were among the few whites who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott. For this stance the Graetz home was bombed and their lives were often threatened. In this program Graetz will remember his service as a student pastor of a black church in California, the turbulent days in Montgomery in the 1950s, his subsequent ministerial career, and his return to Montgomery in 2005 as ambassador-in-residence for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University.
This presentation is one in a series of monthly third-Thursday free lectures at the Alabama Archives, 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery. Bring a sack lunch; coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and book sales by NewSouth Books.
For more information call (334) 353-4712.
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Updated: January 11, 2007
Alabama Department of Archives & History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4435