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Archive for the 'White Preacher’s Message' Category

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly profiles Reverend Robert Graetz

Friday, January 14th, 2011 by Brian Seidman

PBS’s Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly television show will profile Reverend Robert Graetz, author of A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation, published by NewSouth Books, in an episode that begins airing Sunday, January 16.

Watch the full episode. See more Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Rev. Graetz was the only white minister of an African American church during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. His church and home were both bombed during the boycott, and the lives of he and his wife Jeanie were threatened, but Graetz never wavered in his support of the black community. He describes his experiences in rich detail in his memoir, which the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith newsletter called “extraordinary.”

The Religion & Ethics episode emphasizes Rev. Graetz’s relationship with Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement. In the interview with correspondent Kim Lawton, Graetz talks about meeting their neighbor Rosa Parks, and also Dr. King. “I decided that anybody who sounded as smart as he was and was articulate as he was, and had the name Martin Luther, I had to get to know him better,” Graetz recalls.

Rev. Graetz remembers that church officials had expressly told him not participate in any “trouble” when they sent him to Montgomery, but after much prayer he decided the only way he could be a pastor to his church was to take part in the civil right movement. “I want you all to stay off the buses,” Graetz told his congregation. “I’ll be out in my car all day long. If you need a ride, I’ll be glad to come and take you wherever you need to go.” He became the only white member of the Montgomery Improvement Association overseeing the Montgomery Bus Boycott, alongside Dr. King and Rev. Ralph Albernathy.

In the interview, Dr. Howard Robinson, archivist for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University, says that “the Graetzs were really like one of the very few white people in Montgomery who took a very overt, obvious position in support of the boycott, and they suffered because of it,” referring to the bombing of their house recounted in Rev. Graetz’s memoir.

Lawton notes that the Graetzs have remained active in social justice causes, including their current work consulting at Alabama State’s Civil Rights Center.

Rev. Graetz tells Lawton that while “people will say to us, ‘We really appreciate what you did,’ … our response always is it wasn’t just us. It was 50,000 black people who stood together, who walked together, who worked together, who stood up against oppression. If it had not been for this whole body of people working together, this would not have happened.”

Learn more about the Rev. Graetz profile at the Relgion & Ethics NewsWeekly website. You can also read more about Rev. Graetz and his wife Jean from the Huffington Post and Christian Century.

A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation: Based on His Experiences Beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite local or online bookstore.

Rev. Graetz to Speak at Alabama Archives ArchiTreats, Jan. 18, 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Rev. Robert Graetz, author of A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation from NewSouth Books, will speak on January 18, 2007, at noon, at the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s monthly ArchiTreats program. Rev. Graetz will discuss both his book, and his experiences during and after the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

White Preacher’s Message details Rev. Graetz’s life as the young white pastor of a black Lutheran Church in Montgomery, where he and his wife were among the few whites who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Though his church and home were bombed and his life was threatened, Rev. Graetz never wavered, and his memoir discusses both the boycott, white privilege, black forgiveness, and the present-day challenges for human and civil rights, including gay rights.

To learn more, visit the ADAH ArchiTreats website.

A White Preacher’s Message is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Human Rights Campaign Notes White Preacher's Message

Friday, October 20th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

The Human Rights Campaigns Religion and Faith Program featured Reverend Robert Graetz’s A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation in their October 10, 2006 newsletter. From the newsletter:

A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation by Robert S. Graetz Jr. Graetz is an extraordinary advocate for human rights for everyone, including GLBT people, whom he sees as part of the beloved community. This book recounts Graetzs experience as a Lutheran pastor during the Montgomery, Ala., boycotts and how it shaped a long ministerial career emphasizing equality and justice issues. In addition to Graetzs boycott memoirs, this book discusses white privilege, black forgiveness and the challenges for GLBT people.

To learn more about the Human Rights Campaign, visit www.hrc.org. You can also sign up for their Religion and Faith newsletter at www.hrc.org/religion.

A White Preacher’s Message is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Rev. Graetz Discusses White Preacher's Message with Full House at Civil Rights Center

Friday, July 28th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

If you missed Reverend Bob Graetz reading from and signing his new book A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation, you missed a wonderful, moving experience. Reverend Graetz spoke to a full house at the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University, recounting his experiences at the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He also recalled the times that the lives of he and his family were threatened while they lived in Montgomery, discussed what he’s learned about race relations and white priviledge, and offered a touching tribute to his wife Jeannie; their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary is coming up soon.

However, if you missed Reverend Graetz last night, you can still catch a video interview with him from WSFA TV in Montgomery; just follow the link and search for keyword: Graetz. Reverend Graetz will also sign copies of his book at an open house at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on August 6.

A White Preacher’s Message is available for immediate shipping from NewSouth Books (order online or call toll-free (866) 639-7688), or for pre-order from Amazon.com, or at your favorite local or online book retailer.

White Preacher's Message Lauds Little Known Heroes; Upcoming Signings

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

Reverend Bob Graetz’s newest column in the Montgomery Advertiser talks about his just-released book, A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation, and how Bob and his wife Jeannie wrote the book in part to recognize some of the less well-known participants in the Civil Rights movement. From the column:

The real heroes of the Civil Rights Movement are not the ones whose names are permanently implanted in our national memory, as important as those people were. The real heroes were the thousands of people whose names will never be known and whose actions will never be celebrated. In Montgomery it was the 50,000 black people who walked and shared rides for more than a year, facing threats of violence, arrest and economic retaliation, to free themselves from oppression.

Rev. Graetz will sign copies of A White Preacher’s Message on Thursday, July 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture on the Alabama State University campus. He will also sign copies at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on August 6, at an open house to celebrate the Graetz’s fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.

A White Preacher’s Message is available for immediate shipping from NewSouth Books (order online or call toll-free (866) 639-7688), or for pre-order from Amazon.com, or at your favorite local or online book retailer.

Rev. Graetz's White Preacher's Message Now Available; Signing on July 27

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

NewSouth Books is pleased to announce the publication and release of Reverend Robert Graetz’s A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation. A White Preacher’s Message details Rev. Graetz’s life as the young white pastor of a black Lutheran Church in Montgomery, where he and his wife were among the few whites who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

A White Preacher’s Message is available for immediate shipping from NewSouth Books (order online or call toll-free (866) 639-7688), or for pre-order from Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Rev. Graetz will sign copies of A White Preacher’s Message on Thursday, July 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture on the Alabama State University campus. See an article about the signing in today’s Montgomery Advertiser.

Anticipation Grows for Rev. Graetz's White Preacher's Message

Friday, July 7th, 2006 by Brian Seidman

If you’re waiting eagerly for NewSouth’s release of Reverend Robert Graetz’s civil rights memoir A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation, don’t forget that Rev. Graetz also writes a regular guest column in the Montgomery Advertiser. To tide you over until White Preacher’s Message is released, follow this link to Rev. Graetz’s most recent article, which talks about the recent visit of history and law students to Montgomery (including their visit to the NewSouth Bookstore).

A White Preacher’s Message details Rev. Graetz’s life as the young white pastor of a black Lutheran Church in Montgomery, where he and his wife were among the few whites who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Though his church and home were bombed and his life was threatened, Rev. Graetz never wavered, and his memoir discusses both the boycott, white privilege, black forgiveness, and the present-day challenges for human and civil rights, including gay rights.

A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation is currently available for pre-order directly from NewSouth Books, or from Amazon.com or your favorite local or online bookseller.