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Let Justice Roll Down

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  873 ratings  ·  107 reviews
His brother died in his arms, shot by a deputy marshall. He was beaten and tortured by the sheriff and state police. But through it all he returned good for evil, love for hate, progress for prejudice and brought hope to black and white alike. The story of John Perkins is no ordinary story. Rather, it is a gripping portrayal of what happens when faith thrusts a person into
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 6th 2006 by Regal (first published January 1st 1976)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  873 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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Joe Woolworth
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Challenging and shocking book. Shocking because I was sheltered from this kind of racism in my life and didn't realize that it still existed so strongly in our country. After moving to Mississippi for a couple of years, I was shaken with the realization that these old injustices were not yet resolved. This book is a strong reminder of the work yet to be done and the leadership of a man who had all the reasons in the world to hate and chose to love.

Perkins is a hero.

This is my book for February Black History Month.

John M. Perkin’s brother returned home from serving in the Army in World War II. He was murdered by a white deputy marshal in Mississippi, because he was talking too loudly with his girlfriend while waiting for a movie to begin. The deputy was not charged with a crime. Perkins and his brother were raised by his grandmother and aunt. Their father had abandoned them.

Perkins was drafted into the Army, and while serving in Kore
Nichole Tompkins
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible story for any American to read and understand racism in the deep south. The book is a redemptive story and exemplifies the desire for justice that everyone has. It’s a great read but is geared more towards readers of faith, the ending encourages us to let justice roll on.
Joshua Sloan
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“If sin can exist at every level of government, and in every human institution, then also the call to biblical justice in every corner of society must be sounded by those who claim a God of Justice as their Lord”
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling life, a generous spirit, an honoring fortitude, Dr. Perkins’s lifesong is challenging, inviting, and seasoned with reflective grace. The humbleness and authentic faith that he displays throughout this narrative memoir is truly inspiring. I will read more about his life and his optimistic perspective.

A tribute...
Simon Acker
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness and a man’s open heart. John M. Perkins trusted God with his life and God used Perkins to start the flow of justice in many places across this nation, especially in the South. Wow!
Laurel Hicks
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this man.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty phenomenal book, by an amazing man. Perkins is the real deal. As a Southern Californian born and raised, I don’t quite grasp the apartheid (Perkins’ daughter’s own words) that went on for so long in the American South. I’m thankful for books like this that help me understand.
David Chung
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
4.5 stars. The heart-rending, eye-opening memoir of John Perkins, activist and founder of CCDA. Provides an unflinching look at survival as a black man in rural Mississippi in the 1960's and 70's. Even calling it survival seems generous at times.

In an age where we can curate our social awareness to our liking, we need personal stories like this to rattle us into reality. Reflecting on how some white and black Christian communities responded to the issues of the day, Perkins challenges, "We need
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
“They were like savages - like some horror out of the night. And I can’t forget their faces, so twisted with hate. It was like looking at white-faced demons. Hate did that to them.

But you know, I couldn’t hate back. When I saw what hate had done to them, I couldn’t hate back. I could only pity them. I didn’t ever want hate to do to me what it has already done to those men.”

If anyone had a reason to hold on to hate, it’s John Perkins. In this biographical book, he outlines some of th
Cory Saint-Esprit
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book angered me - but in just the way a book like this is supposed to. Written by one of the fathers of the Civil Rights Movement and by a leading agent in Christian Community Development, I was angered by the stories from both a perspective of "How could this happen" and "How has my privilege led to this continuing to happen?" Yet through all, the Gospel shines through Perkins's life and reminds me that our God is bigger and greater and mightier. There is hope for reconciliation both withi ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: justice
Highly recommended. This was an excellent and challenging read. It was eye opening to get the perspective of someone who had a very different experience from my own. Rather than provide some sort of poor analysis, I'll let the book speak through the quotes that struck home to me.

In talking about his own success "Now, I couldn’t analyze all the reasons I ended up different. Maybe my family background gave me some extra drive and ambition. But, you see, I couldn’t claim credit for that. It was so
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
John Perkins' convicting biographical story as a big player in the Civil Rights game. He rides the razor's edge of paradox: A bold voice of stinging critique and conviction, without bitterness, seasoned with grace and compassion.

It's only the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can call the evil of racism what it is, decrying its hellbound consequences, calling for constant repentance from active acts of racism in both the individual's heart as well as the systemic structure, and calling out a cowardic
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
If your ever inclined to understand what the civil rights movement was like for blacks this is your ticket. If you are a conservative Christian trying to understand the current dialogue on social justice this can help. But much more than that I was blown away by John Perkins love for others in the face of absolute hate and cruelty. This story is really about freedom and ultimately Perkins gets where real freedom comes from, that it can only be found in Christ. This story is a picture of what it ...more
Jenny Preston
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book should be on everyone's reading list.

John Perkins is a black minister in Mississippi. This book tells his life, mostly in the 1960s, as a Civil Rights activist. He identifies that the Gospel - seeing people as whole people complete in Christ - is the key component missing in so much activism. Christians have dropped the activism; Activists have dropped the Gospel. This memoir recounts Perkin's efforts to bind the two together to create lasting change.

I'm left fe
Brandon G. Smith
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Christian in Mississippi, I think this book should be required reading in Mississippi history classes. Dr. Perkins gives a poignant revelation of my state’s not-so-secret racism, that still persists to this day. Some stories make me shudder, as the places he describes are only a short drive from my house (including a mention of my own hometown which Dr. Perkins calls a great spot to sell moonshine). With all the horrific stories though, Dr. Perkins never loses hope. Hope for Mississippi and ...more
Bob Woodley
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book. In this age we need to hear more about forgiveness and reconciliation, the twin themes of this book.

The summary on the cover and here in Goodreads doesn't do the book justice. Yes, Perkins suffered brutality, but this book is really a musing on the faith, the white church and the black church, and the complicated issue of race in the US.

I can't write a summary to make it sound as good as it is. A simply written book by a thoughtful, faithful man.

Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This personal narrative delivers a critical blow to those who want to pretend that racism is something less than a structural sin.
The fact that some of the worst crimes perpetrated against Rev. Perkins by legal authorities in Mississippi occurred in the same decade I was born seems unimaginable. And the fact that the white church people in his community turned and looked the other way is a horror we cannot ignore.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A must-read for southern Christians. A memoir of one man's resistance against the racial injustices of the mid-century South, the very, very recent past, a time and place so often shrouded with nostalgia. Perkins writes both of the silent complicity and even active engagement of the white church in the injustice, and of how the Gospel and the love of Christ transformed and inspired his approach to civil rights activism and ministry.
Robin Clayton
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story of reconciliation

I love John M. Perkins even though I have never met him. In fact, HE is on my list of people I'd love to meet, 2nd only to Jesus. His faith is real and powerful and his relationship with Jesus allows him to dive deep into relationships with mere humans. He loves well and puts action into his faith. God uses his creation and John bears the sweetest of fruit.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The life and work of John Perkins is inspiring and courageous. His life and example get 5 stars. The writing was good but could have been better. That said I admire and am grateful for John and others like him whose Christian faith and love compelled them to sacrifice so much for the sake of equality and justice.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to understand the attitudes of the Deep South from the eyes of a former sharecropper in Mississippi and what it means for a black person in the 60s to be a whole person after 400 years of oppression, this is an easy book to read. Beautiful and compelling writing from an autodidact with a 5th grade education.
Tara Gibbs
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
John M. Perkins was essentially an orphaned share-cropper child who longed for connection and meaning in a cruel, Mississippi, Jim Crow world. (His father was living but gone.) He saw his brother--a war veteran--murdered by a police officer. He lived with horrible injustice. He only got a third grade education. But then he escaped to California and realized a black person could actually have opportunities in life. He married and began a family in California, but something was still missing. He t ...more
Slade Hogan
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly moving account. Insightful for all, especially for those who attempt to downplay the blatant racism of the past which has set up the seemingly perpetual systemic racism plaguing us even today, decades later. Sadly, the people who most need to read this account, likely never will.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback
Excellent memoir of a black Christian activist during the Civil Rights era.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing but tears, admiration, and hope.
Jon Goodwin
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book that outlines the horrors of racism and also shows that the reach of the gospel is to change everything. Loved it!
Kelsey Haddenhorst
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Perkins is a modern day hero of the faith. I am sorry it took me so long to learn about his life and legacy.
Eric Zwerneman
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Never heard of John Perkins, and I don’t know why he’s not mentioned more in civil rights conversations. Great, eye-opening book.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Important for perspective on recent history and the experience of southern poor African americans, but the writing left me wanting more of an emotional connection to the story.
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Dr. John M. Perkins is the founder and president emeritus of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation and cofounder of Christian Community Development Association. He has served in advisory roles under five U.S. presidents, is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement, and is an author and international speaker on issues of reconciliation, leadership, ...more
“Yielding to God's will can be hard. And sometimes, it really hurts. But it always brings peace.” 3 likes
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