Vernon Johns, a brilliant man coupled with an eloquent speaker, upsets his community through his radical ideas on social change and economic independence of blacks. From his pulpit, he attacks the white power and denounces police brutality towards his brother race. His biggest enemy is nonetheless his own congregation who hesitates to mobilize behind him.Written by
Reverend Dr. Vernon Johns was a very influential "negro" minister in the earliest days of the N.A.A.C.P. and other African-American groups fighting for civil rights. Johns is considered by many to be the the father of the 20th Century civil rights movement. See more »
After one of his parishioners is raped, Rev. Johns has his daughter post his Sunday Sermon announcement on the church sign. The sign shows the name of the church, Sunday Service 11:00 AM, and "Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor", and between the service time and Johns name is 'WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE', with single quote marks before and after. In the next scene, Johns is called to see a judge, who shows Johns a picture of the sign with the Sunday Sermon announcement, except the picture shows "WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE" with double quote marks before and after, and with the Sermon announcement above the service time, and instead of 'Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor', it reads 'Rev. Dr. Vernon Johns' with 'Pastor' on a separate line below his name. See more »
This boy lived a trifling and worthless life. He went around Montgomery daring someone to cut his throat. Saturday night somebody obliged him. He lived like a dog; he died like a dog. Undertaker, claim the body. Choir, sing.
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The Producers acknowledge the significant contribution of author, Taylor Branch, to the public awareness of the life of Reverend Vernon Johns. See more »
An outstanding performance by James Earl Jones playing the pastor Vernon johns, and he does not mince his words. Some parts make you laugh, cry, and angry, but ultimately it inspires. His words "If you see a good fight, get in it" really sum up the man who inspired history. The supporting cast are excellent with Nicole leach (who plays his daughter) just trying to fit in to a society which is happy to keep her as a 2nd class citizen. Many at the time felt to scared to rock the boat, apart from Johns who in his own words is a "boat rocker"! Althougth i watched this film for the first time about 15 years ago, it has stayed with me and i wished that more people could see it, even if it may teach a lesson about history and about the fact that behind great men there is often other great men without whom they would have never become..well, Great!
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