In this episode of As In Heaven, hosts Jim Davis and Mike Aitcheson welcome Collin Hansen to continue a discussion of the history of black people in America begun over the past two episodes by Ligon Duncan. Duncan discussed the onset of chattel slavery in 1619 up to the Civil War, the sordid practices of peonage, vagrancy laws, and sharecropping and how they helped pave the way for Jim Crow laws in America.

Hansen furthers the conversation, picking up with the civil-rights movement, which certainly did not relieve racial tensions in the South, but drove them underground. Hansen addresses what was left undone in the civil-rights era and how that’s led to ongoing present-day frustrations for black people in America. The group discusses:

  • Introduction of Collin Hansen (1:31)
  • Key events that brought about the civil-rights movement (2:30)
  • George Wallace, politics, and students at the University of Alabama (13:05)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (21:58)
  • National developments through the 1960s (26:18)
  • What was left undone in the civil-rights movement, specifically in churches (32:32)
  • Segregation academies (38:24)
  • Where things have gotten worse (43:21)
  • Challenges facing urban communities post-integration (45:38)
  • Fight, flight, and forget (48:49)
  • Making it personal (51:30)
  • Issues that continue to contribute to the black experience in America (55:50)

Explore more from TGC on the topics of race and slavery.


1. What stories did you grow up hearing about the civil-rights movement? What narrative have you been taught concerning this era?

2. If your group has time, read “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” What are ways that this letter speaks powerfully today?

3. Following the civil-rights movement, what are ways that segregation and inequality continued to exist?

4. How did the church respond to the civil-rights movement? How has the church continued to be shaped by these events?