The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution

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During the twenty-seven years of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment, Desmond Tutu served as the embodiment of hope for all the oppressed people of South Africa. Deprived of the right to vote (and virtually every other civil right), South Africa's people of color found their beloved archbishop to be a constant source of strength and courage in the wearing, year-in, year-out battle against the consummate evil of apartheid. So successful was Tutu in his great work that he became, as Nelson Mandela tells us in his ...
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During the twenty-seven years of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment, Desmond Tutu served as the embodiment of hope for all the oppressed people of South Africa. Deprived of the right to vote (and virtually every other civil right), South Africa's people of color found their beloved archbishop to be a constant source of strength and courage in the wearing, year-in, year-out battle against the consummate evil of apartheid. So successful was Tutu in his great work that he became, as Nelson Mandela tells us in his Foreword, "public enemy number one." Here is the extraordinarily inspiring story of Desmond Tutu's decades-long struggle as the dedicated spokesman for one of the most important liberation movements of modern times, the anti-apartheid movement - as told by John Allen, the courageous journalist who became the archbishop's media secretary. Woven into the astonishing tapestry of narrative are Tutu's speeches, letters, and sermons - the thrilling addresses that have made him not only a symbol of hope for his own people but a focus for justice, peace, and reconciliation throughout the world. With a clarity of pitch born out of decades of experience, Tutu shows us all how to move forward with honesty and compassion to build a newer and more humane world. For, as he says, "We can only be human in fellowship, in Peace." Here is a guidebook that has universal resonance, a how-to book on accomplishing a revolution, one that ends with South Africa's first free election, in which Desmond Tutu, at the age of sixty-two, is permitted to vote for the first time in his life! But here is a revolution that, as the archbishop explains, ends not in mere victory, but in peace and reconciliation for all the Rainbow People of God.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Archbishop of Capetown, South Africa, gives readers the historical highlights of his extraordinary leadership of the anti-apartheid movement. From his letter to Prime Ministers to his sermons, Tutu's presence in the anti-apartheid movement has shaped and guided it to the success it has recently achieved.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a collection of miscellany-speeches, letters, sermons, interview extracts-by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tuto, who since 1976 has spoken out against apartheid and for human rights. ``The Bible and the church predate Marxism and the ANC by several centuries,'' we read here in his letter to rabidly anticommunist South African President P.W. Botha in 1988, and indeed, Tutu's deep faith and biblical grounding infuse his communications. His denunciation of apartheid, especially in testimony to a government commission investigating church activists, has an imperturbable impact (``human beings are created in the image and likeness of God''). After the 1990 lifting of the ban on political powers, Tutu's role receded, but he has remained a voice of conscience, especially when criticizing the ``culture of violence,'' which he stresses cannot be blamed solely on apartheid. While this book is mainly for browsing, the sections are linked by a useful narrative that explains their historical context. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This collection of sermons, speeches, and writings of the Archbishop of Capetown, one of the foremost Christian leaders of the struggle against apartheid, provides a history of nearly two decades of the struggle from a Christian perspective. Tutu's unfaltering conviction that apartheid would be defeated because it was wrong, his firm belief that God is on the side of the oppressed, and his commitment to a nonracial struggle come through in periods of apparent defeat as well as in times of success. Editor Allen has provided a useful chronology and, with each selection, gives the specific historical context. This enables the reader with little knowledge of South Africa to understand the context and thus the force and skill of the message. The collection begins with a letter to Prime Minister John Vorster in May 1976, warning of the possibility of violence in reaction to the violence of apartheid. Scarcely more than a month later such violence erupted in Soweto. It ends with Tutu's May 9, 1994 speech, following the first post-apartheid elections. There is little overlap with previous collections of Tutu's sermons (Crying in the Wilderness, Eerdmans, 1982, and Hope and Suffering, Eerdmans, 1983). An excellent volume for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/94.]-Maidel Cason, Univ. of Delaware Lib., Newark
Hazel Rochman
While Nelson Mandela and other political leaders were silenced in prison, Archbishop Tutu was a charismatic public figure at the forefront of the antiapartheid struggle. This collection of his speeches, letters, and sermons--from the time of the 1976 Soweto Uprising, through the long years of repression and defiance, up to the triumph of the democratic election--serves as an immediate contemporary history of South Africa. Tutu's media secretary, John Allen, provides a general historical introduction and a connecting narrative that places the individual pieces in dramatic context. Eloquent, wise, funny, colloquial, Tutu defends his liberation theology with wit and reverence, flaying the absurdities of "white civilization," while drawing on the Scriptures and Christian tradition for his moral authority. His Nobel Peace Prize speech is here; so is his call for sanctions against his country; and his funeral orations; and always, his plea for peace talks: "Mr. de Klerk, if you know really what is good for you, join us!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737275469
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Pages: 281

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface
1 A Growing Nightmarish Fear: An open letter to Prime Minister B. J. Vorster (1976) 3
2 Oh, God, How Long Can We Go On?: Address at the funeral of Steve Biko (1977) 15
3 We Drink Water to Fill Our Stomachs: Address to the Provincial Synod of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (1979) 25
4 A Deep and Passionate Love for Our Land: Transcript of remarks to P. W. Botha and members of his cabinet (1980) 41
5 Why Did Mr. Botha's Courage Fail Him?: Extract from a presentation to a Johannesburg study group (1981) 47
6 The Divine Imperative: Evidence to the South African government's commission of inquiry into the South African Council of Churches (1982) 53
7 Not Even Invited to the Party: Remarks on proposals for a new constitution (1983) 81
8 Apartheid's "Final Solution": Nobel Lecture (1984) 85
9 You Don't Reform a Frankenstein: Extract from an address to the Political Committee of the UN General Assembly (1985) 97
10 Punitive Sanctions: Press statement (1986) 105
11 Agents of Transfiguration: Charge on enthronement as Archbishop of Cape Town (1986) 113
12 Perhaps Even to Die: Sermon on the eve of a return to controversy in South Africa (1987) 129
13 You Give Yourself a Left Hook: Address at a prayer service for peace in Natal (1987) 133
14 You Will Bite the Dust!: Extracts from a sermon at a service held to replace a banned rally (1988) 139
15 Your Policies Are Unbiblical, Unchristian, Immoral and Evil: A letter to P. W. Botha (1988) 145
16 All That Has Changed Is the Complexion of the Oppressor: Extract from a sermon in Mobutu's Zaire (1989) 157
17 You Are Not God!: Sermon in Noriega's Panama (1989) 161
18 They Have Power but No Authority: The beginning of the Defiance Campaign in Cape Town (1989) 169
19 Straighten Up Your Shoulders!: Remarks to victims of police brutality (1989) 179
20 We Are the Rainbow People!: The Cape Town march (1989) 185
21 We Have Seen Some Extraordinary Things: Sermon at a thanksgiving service for the release of Nelson Mandela (1990) 191
22 Why I Believe This Is Happening: Lecture to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy (1990) 199
23 I Am Not a Politician: Interview on a new role for Desmond Tutu (1990) 203
24 The Nadir of Despair: Extracts from addresses on the Transvaal township war (1990) 209
25 We Forgive You: Contributions to the Rustenburg church conference (1990) 221
26 Something Has Gone Desperately Wrong: Homily during Holy Week (1991) 227
27 Nurturing Our People: Extract from Charge to the Anglican Synod of Bishops (1992) 235
28 On the Brink of Disaster: Sermon on the Boipatong Massacre (1992) 241
29 We Offer to You These Children: Prayer at the site of the killing of six children (1993) 249
30 His Death Is Our Victory: Sermon at the funeral of South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani (1993) 251
31 The Bottom of Depravity: Address at an interfaith rally after a massacre at St. James Church, Cape Town (1993) 255
32 A Miracle Unfolding: Sermon on and thanksgiving for South Africa's first free election (1994) 259
Editor's Acknowledgments 270
Bibliography 272
Index 273
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