Archibald J. Carey Sr. and his son Archibald J. Carey Jr. left a legacy of ministerial activism that empowered African Americans by fighting for their civil rights. By blending ministry and politics, the two men demonstrated their desire to benefit blacks. They negotiated the compromises embedded in getting to and staying in public office, and avoided becoming apologists for allies in both party and government. The Careys broke with the Republican Party when it failed to support African American aspirations and allied themselves with Democrats who were willing to support black equality. They mobilized their congregants to support Social Gospel initiatives, but their quest for personal and community benefits made them tolerate political parties or leaders who disrespected African Americans or denigrated the importance of civil rights. The Careys’ alliances with controversial political personalities suggest that both father and son were more interested in gaining political favors than protecting their moral legitimacy.
Keywords: politics, Archibald J. Carey, African Americans, civil rights, ministry, Republican Party, Democrats, black equality, Social Gospel