“For black political leaders, the Bible — the one book with which they could assume familiarity among their largely illiterate constituents — served as a point of reference for understanding public events.
“When in 1870 North Carolina’s House impeached Gov. [W.W.] Holden, 17 black legislators issued an address that began: ‘Know ye that since the time that Haman conspired to destroy all the Jews who dwelt in the Persian Dominions… no wickedness hath been devised that will bear any comparison with some of the measures proposed by the dominant party in the present General Assembly.’ ”
— From “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (1988)
“Following the [1965 vote against the poll tax], Sam Ervin was asked why he routinely offered amendments to civil rights bills that he knew would not succeed. He replied with a biblical injunction from Exodus 32:2 ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.’ ”
— From “Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938-1965” by Keith M. Finley (2008)