When Elizabeth Jennings Graham stood up for integrating the Third Avenue Streetcar line in July 1854, she was on her way to church. When labor lawyer Crystal Eastman itemized her four-fold feminist platform in 1920, she was articulating a plan “to create conditions… in which a free woman’s soul can be born and grow.” When Greenwich Village’s Reverend Howard Moody created the neighborhood’s first drug treatment clinic in 1959, and co-founded the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion in 1967 to help women access abortions, he was dubbed the Radical Baptist. These are just a few examples of progressive Village activists who brought their faith to the issues of their times. They were not alone: members of the “Religious Left” were at the forefront of virtually every progressive movement in American politics and social life from the mid-17th century to the mid-20th century. From faithful Quakers active in the Abolitionist Movement to Jewish labor activists who pioneered cooperative workers’ housing, and Black clergy who led the Civil Rights Movement, this virtual talk by historian Lucie Levine explores these stories and how notions of the “Equality of the Soul” led the Religious Left out of the pews and into the streets.
Lucie Levine is a writer, historian, and NYC tour guide. She founded the historical company Archive on Parade, and has collaborated with The Gotham Center for New York City History, The Municipal Art Society, The Historic Districts Council, The New York Public Library, The 92nd Street Y, Village Preservation, and Landmarks West on tours, lectures and events. She is also the Public Programs Consultant at FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, and Contributing History Writer at 6sqft
Co-hosted by Judson Memorial Church
- Tuesday, November 9, 2021
- 6:00 pm