Pay attention to the footnotes

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More evidence that the movement made Martin, not the other way around, from reader and former newspaper colleague Paul Wenske:

“The reckoning with integration that began after World War II in the United States certainly found a voice in Martin Luther King, Jr. — but, as you point out, it was realized in dozens of other less conspicuous places and in less dramatic scenarios across the nation,” Paul writes.

“I recall as a kid in Torrance, Calif., in the 1950s my father causing a mild stir, covered by the local newspapers, when he began sharing pulpits with Rev. Nelson Trout, a black Lutheran minister from Alabama who led an African-American congregation in south-central L.A.

“Not until years later did I grasp the real intent of this scriptural conspiracy between my dad and Rev. Trout to confront the conscience of the church. Rev. Trout later became the first African-American bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a synod founded by Germans and Scandinavians.

“This one small evolution that took place among two congregations on the West Coast barely rates a footnote in the history of the civil rights movement, but is no less illustrative of a seismic change taking place across America.”

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