Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman

I was introduced to the life of Howard Thurman by a professor speaking in one of our school chapels. After hearing about the life and influence, I went straight to the bookstore to find one of his works. Jesus and the Disinherited was written over sixty years ago, but the truths in this book are still true today.

Years before the civil rights movement and the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Thurman was confronting the issue of racism and discrimination in the country - which was mostly promoted by white Christians in the so-called Bible Belt. Thurman shows the social similarities between Jesus - a poor Jew in a land dominated by imperial Rome - and African Americans during the mid-twentieth century. Fear, deception, and hate are regular defenses used by the disinherited, the disadvantaged and the poor.

Though Jesus lived in a time of racial and social tension - a tension that ultimately led to His death - Jesus still demanded that we love our neighbors and ourselves. "The first step toward love is a common sharing of a sense of mutual worth and value."

This is a wonderful read. The truths written in the short book are still full of wonderful meaning and compassion. Anyone who enjoys the works of Martin Luther King, Jr. will cherish this work.

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