The Memphis Blues
This chapter discusses Church’s waning influence and subsequent shift to more radical political activism in the 1930s and 1940s. Church resigned his position at the NAACP and argued with the newly appointed Walter White. While he remained respected as an African American leader, his relationship with the white community became increasingly adversarial. His fallout with Boss Crump in the 1930s led to Crump directly attacking him. At the same time, his relationship with socialist labor leader A. Philip Randolph became closer. The chapter ends with a discussion of the erasure of Church’s legacy in Memphis immediately after his death, and his daughter’s mission to restore it.
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