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A child of the segregation-era south, Proctor is no stranger to unwarranted hatred and widespread ignorance. He has fought against racism all his life -- in his schools, in his communities, and at the pulpit. In this compelling memoir, he candidly reveals the tumult of the civil rights movement in which he was deeply involved, the bitterness and anger of youths then that has exploded into the hopelessness, rage and despair of today's youths who feel they have no future. But through all of these times, Dr. Proctor has always been a beacon of hope; here, he recounts those inspiring times when his faith has shined brightest.
One man's positive plan for today's society, The Substance of Things Hoped For is inspiration at its most heartfelt, delivered with warmth and conviction, and founded in a lifetime of faith and reflection.
In this fascinating memoir, Dr. Proctor chronicles his family's journey--from his own 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. Simultaneous hardcover release from Putnam. 2 cassettes.
Samuel Proctor, pastor emeritus of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, is one of the preeminent theologian orators and educators in the country. The Substance of Things Hoped For is the story of not only his personal and spiritual journey but that of many African Americans.
Proctor begins his tale with his grandparents Hattie and George Proctor, who were born into slavery, because he credits their hard work and determination with instilling the morals and values that enabled his family, although very poor, to flourish and succeed. "Faith put steel in their spines to endure physical bondage, and zeal in their souls to prevail against evil; it illumined their minds to keep the vision of a better day. . . . Faith gave them a sense of eternity, a mystical transcendence that transposed their pain into song and their agony into a durable, resilient quest for complete humanity, the substance of things hoped for." For his grandparents, "faith was a way out from the day to day drudgery and toil, an absolvement, a destination." His grandmother often told him: "No use fretting and crying. If you do your part, God will do the rest."
The Substance of Things Hoped For shows how faith has nurtured and guided many African Americans who hail from similar backgrounds. "The spiritual resilience derived from their faith allowed most enslaved African Americans to come through their degrading experience whole, without losing their humanity.... With nothing but faith they imagined the future. They fixed their trust in God and began their journey up the road to equality."