William Barber


Rev. Barber in 2016.

Reverend William J. Barber II (1963- ), a US civil rights leader, is a Disciples of Christ pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is best known for the Moral Monday protests in his state (2013-17). Now in 2018 he is going nationwide, picking up where Martin Luther King Jr left off in 1968, helping to lead a new Poor People’s Campaign.


  • political: Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, Robert F. Williams, the populist movement of the 1890s.
  • theological: Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, James Cone.


  • Cornel West: “That brother is the real thing.”
  • Bernie Sanders: “[Barber] is doing some of the most important work in the country.”

Barber’s view of US history is much like mine, informed by Howard Zinn, Nell Painter, and the Black counter-frame: a call-and-response between Black Reconstruction and White backlash. In its finer moments…

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