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In this compelling memoir, Proctor chronicles his family's journey from his grandmother's slavery, through the monumental victories of the NAACP, to his own involvement in the King Oasis, and through subsequent presidential eras to show the common thread in the lives of millions of African Americans: pure, enduring faith.
"Despite Proctor's death in 1997, his legacy continues to live on. His memoirs give us a glimpse into his life and character, a refreshing example of the power and blessing of faith and hope." Reviewed by Mark R. Wilson for Baptist History & Heritage, Summer-Fall 2001
"The best thing next to having heard the late Dr. Proctor speak is reading this memoir. This is the story of Proctor, and his journey from a young man to becoming the beacon of hope and faith that he was, and in our memories and hearts still is for so many. It is a story of survival, faith, hope, and progress which speaks not only through the black community, but through all of humanity." E.C. Johnson
"This recording tries to be many things. First, it is Proctor's memoir telling about the birth of his family's religious beliefs and how he has progressed and become a college president, a minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and an assistant director for the Peace Corps. Next, it is a study of the times in which Proctor lived and a discussion of the people he has dealt with, including Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson. Finally, it is a social commentary through which Proctor discusses issues such as the erosion of the African American community, the need for educational opportunities in poverty-stricken areas, the value of affirmative action programs, and the need for faith. The program works best as social commentary, and Proctor's solutions will intrigue some and anger others. Whatever the listener's opinion, the author offers much to ponder. For public libraries and black studies programs everywhere." Danna C. Bell-Russel, District of Columbia, From Library Journal
"Proctorpastor emeritus of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, an ex-professor and college administrator and former associate director of the Peace Corpslived a life sustained by faith and clear-eyed optimism about the possibilities and problems faced by American blacks. His warm, lucid memoir covers so much ground that it seems skimpy in places. However, his anecdotes resonate: they relate to the backbone he gained from family, church and black society in the segregated South; his role as mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others; and his conviction, after trips to Africa and other foreign lands, that black Americans are inherently American. Though a man of tradition, he calls for the black church to liberalize its attitudes toward women. He has strong policy suggestions to reclaim lost youth: reinvest in teaching; have black churches link up to gain clout; establish a Peace Corps-like National Youth Academy at deactivated military bases to educate youngsters whom schools haven't helped." Publishers Weekly
"A master of the art of sermonizing is always a prophet. Through the capable hands of Samuel Proctor, we have been given a book which is both prophecy and poetry." Maya Angelou
Reverend Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor (1921-1997) was Pastor Emeritus of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City and Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. Dr. Proctor was President of Virginia Union University, Richmond and North Carolina A&T State University. He held administrative positions with the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Washington, D.C. and the National Council of Churches.
Dr. Proctor served on the governing boards of the United Negro College Fund, National Urban League and the Overseer's Visiting Committee for the Divinity School at Harvard University. He was Pastor-In-Residence for the Institute for Child Advocacy at Children's Defense Fund/Haley Farm. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from more than 50 colleges and universities. Dr. Proctor was a prolific writer and preacher, authoring We Have This Ministry, How Shall They Hear, and Sermons from the Black Pulpit, among many others.
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