Rev. Aidsand Wright-Riggins reflects on Howard Thurman’s 1949 classic work, “Jesus and the Disinherited ”. Raised by his formerly enslaved grandmother, Howard Thurman was a Black 20th Century Prophet-Mystic who offered an emancipatory way of moving forward for people with their ‘backs against the wall’ in the face of horror, hypocrisy and hatred. Howard Thurman was the pastor of the first intentionally interracial congregation in the United States, the Church for the Fellowship of All People in San Francisco.
Thurman, who studied under Mohandas K. Gandhi in India, profoundly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr, James Lawson, Pauli Murray and other civil right luminaries. While Wright-Riggins served as Director of Peace with Justice Ministries for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, he had the transformative opportunity to meet with Howard Thurman and study his works shortly before Thurman’s death in 1981.