The next Sunday after Graham’s statement, on Easter Morning, one of those Southern rebels from Billy Graham’s past kicked back. Bob Jones Sr.—founder of the infamous Bob Jones University, former adviser to Graham in his youth, and, in a sense, Graham’s own Scot-Irish meddling “uncle” in the faith—went to the microphone at his radio station and rattled off his own counter-statement, “Is Segregation Scriptural?” Bob Jones University (BJU) later transcribed the sermon and distributed it frequently to their constituency and sold it in pamphlet form in their campus bookstore. From 1960 until 1986, this sermon was their official statement defending their racism.
No library in the world catalogs this statement. BJU’s archives have labeled this “restricted access” and will not copy its pages. This is the statement BJU does not want you to see despite the fact that they distributed it so widely until 1986. I have acquired a series of texts never before seen by outside historians (and rarely seen by insiders) from Bob Jones University from 1952 through 1975. These are official letters, public statements, and internal memos. Observing the repetitive paragraphs across the statements proves that these were boilerplate.
This post was originally published on May 25, 2011.