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Light, Bright, Damn Near White

Integration and black power collide and force a black man who has walked comfortably in the black and white communities to realize he is not free in either place and needs to work for a level of interracial justice in which all of us can be true to our roots and feel at home anywhere in the world.

Richard Lawrence is an ordained Methodist minister who had to fight for the right to full membership in the ministry because no bishop believed they could appoint an interracially married minister. While other celebrated ordination, Richard had to fight for an appointment and had to agree not to preach on race relations or date white coeds in order to “win” his appointment by the bishop to a campus assignment in Corvallis, Oregon.

From that first campus ministry, Richard traveled to Selma with students. Later he served a congregation on Chicago’s southside from which he worked with Operation P.U.S.H (Jesse Jackson) and headed a project that attracted Martin Luther King, Jr., to join in a strategic demonstration. More recently, Richard has worked tirelessly on affordable housing. His entire life has been dedicated to the work of social justice.

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