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Let Justice Roll Down

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,219 ratings  ·  159 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 ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published December 6th 2006 by Regal Books (first published January 1st 1976)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  1,219 ratings  ·  159 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.

Great truths:
• The idea that a
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 Korea he applied himself to
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.
Andy Heckathorne
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best book I’ve read so far on matters of race and faith. If you’d told me this book was written in the year 2020, I would have believed you - it couldn’t be more relevant.

Dr. Perkins skillfully tells stories of his own life while simultaneously defining and clarifying the relationship that economics and social status has with religion, bigotry and systemic racism. Perkins describes how his search for meaning eventually led to Jesus Christ as our ultimate model who overcame hatred and suffering w
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”
Lee Hudson
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wish I had read this years ago. I’d say it should be required reading for most every white Christian in America. But especially white Christians raised in the south. It is especially timely as our country is again being challenged think about race issues in deeper ways. This is a book helping me to do that. The issues are complicated. But I can’t ignore the ways in which the white Evangelical church did little to help improve inequalities between whites and blacks … and worse, did more to secure ...more
Stephanie Simim-McCulley
To be quite honest, I had no idea how this book ended up on my bookshelf. I grabbed it and was very curious but almost put it back because it had no cover. However, I decided to read it simply based on the title "Let Justice Roll Down". Immediately my curiosity became curiouser.

For such a small book, it had so much to say. It brought me to tears multiple times. Not only because of the raw truth of what it was like for a black man (black families, black persons in general) during [pre-] civil rig
Unchong Berkey
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
John Perkins, born in 1930, grew up in poverty in Mississippi, enduring racism, the death of his brother at the hands of a corrupt sheriff, and the overall hardships that characterized life for a black family in the racist deep South of the times. He was involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and became a champion for racial reconciliation after coming to faith in Christ. Perkins’ words at the end of this memoir:

“Oh I know man is bad—depraved. There’s something built into him that ma
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!
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerful book told from the perspective of the life of the author in his struggle with racism and his work to bring equality and justice to the African-American community in rural Mississippi. A must read for anyone interested in issues of race.
Yajaira Marmolejo
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Good book to read if you want to know what it was like to be a black man during the civil rights movement. John Perkins narrates his life, injustice, harships, and spiritual transformation. Great testimony of how the Lord can transform people's lives and use all the suffering for good.
Laurel Hicks
I love this man.
Austenn Akers
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all need to leave space to listen, listen, & listen. ...more
Beth Lorow
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading. Man. John Perkins is an incredible human being.
Anthony Rodriguez
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
1,000 stars. An incredible read. I am woefully under-educated on John Perkins. What a legend. This book is for today as much as it was for 40 years ago. Incredible.
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
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.
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 the major inci
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
Tiana Luo
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
One project of mine (with Mrs. Natalie) is learning about racial issues in America from a Christian perspective. We took this summer to read John M. Perkins's memoir, "Let Justice Roll Down," a powerful work on the relationship evangelical Christians have with the civil rights movement. 

Perkins begins with describing his childhood as a sharecropper in rural Mississippi, a living characterized by hardship, toil, and constant control and subjugation by the white authorities and employers. He descr
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
Elisha Lawrence
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have never heard of John Perkins, then you are missing a modern day hero. In his autobiography, John Perkins tells the story of growing up in racist Mississippi...the senseless death of his brother at the hands at the hands of a white policeman...his conversion upon moving to California..his return to racist Mississippi as a pastor and deep blessing to his community...the suffering he met while fighting for justice...and the beauty that came in his own life and others from it.

The life of
Greg Skodacek
Truth - Always Relevant


"People always ask me how I overcame racism and bigotry. At least the process in my life that has helped me to overcome it has been the people and the quality of my Christian friends who have embraced me and loved me. People remove racism. Good overcomes evil. In my deepest time of pain and sorrow and conflict, God has always brought somebody into my life who has loved me and embraced me at the time when it would have felt better to hate."

"Revolution—spiritual re
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
Amber Hoot
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m really thankful for John Perkins writing this and sharing his story. What really struck me was the overall conclusion that he came to about how true Christian community can display Christ’s love in a way that doesn’t just have the power to speak into economic or social poverty but also racism and hatred between people. So many of the stories he told and experienced were heartbreaking but I’m thankful to have read them and read of the hope he found in the gospel even in the midst of such sadn ...more
Mary Vogelsong
This book is an essential read at our current point in history. It details the civil rights battles fought in Mississippi and led by John M. Perkins. Perkins witnessed the killing of his brother and injustices committed against other blacks. Perkins' heart was hardened against racism and the white men who propagated it.
Perkins had been to black churches, but he admits he saw those experiences as fleshly, emotional carryings-on. After leaving the town where his brother was killed, Perkins became
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A heart breaking story of the pain and suffering caused by racism. Perkins has suffered much because of the color of his skin. The most amazing and beautiful part of his story is how he continued to respond to hate with love. Even when people tried to intimidate him, even when white police officers almost beat him to death after arresting him on trumped up charges, even when the justice system gave him anything but justice through prejudiced judges and jurors, he continued to be grounded in love ...more
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
Sharla Carter
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an inspirational man! "Only the power of Christ's crucifixion on the cross and the glory of His resurrection can heal the deep racial wounds in both black and white people in America." This was written in the 70's but I felt it was written this year. It gave me a deeper understanding of the deeply rooted racial division. Perkins returned to his home state of Mississippi to help at the core, and encountered both success and tragic setbacks. He stated after an extreme beating: "But you know, ...more
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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

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