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No Jim Crow ChurchThe Origins of South Carolina's Bahá'í Community$
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Louis Venters

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061078

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061078.001.0001

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The Great Depression, the Second World War, and the First Seven Year Plan, 1935–1945

The Great Depression, the Second World War, and the First Seven Year Plan, 1935–1945

(p.129) 4 The Great Depression, the Second World War, and the First Seven Year Plan, 1935–1945
No Jim Crow Church

Louis Venters

University Press of Florida

During the mid-1930s, Shoghi Effendi launched the U.S. Bahá’ís on the first of a series of growth campaigns, with both domestic and international goals. Within the U.S., the bulk of the work was devoted to spreading the faith in the South. In South Carolina, the Augusta-area community served as the initial base for expansion into other localities. During the campaign, Bahá’ís settled in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. The focus on expansion in South Carolina and other southern states raised important questions for a religious community that professed to be interracial. Early on, Shoghi Effendi set the tone by guiding the formulation of a new policy for holding teaching meetings in segregated environments and by addressing a major letter on interracialism. But not all the Bahá’ís were clear about Shoghi Effendi’s instructions, and in some towns, including violence-prone Greenville, South Carolina, the work of interracial community-building proved to be particularly hard and slow.

Keywords:   Bahá’í Faith, South Carolina, Shoghi Effendi, Columbia, Greenville, Segregation

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