Full Steam Ahead: Zach Mills on the Legacy of Rev. Clay Evans
Zach Mills discusses his biography The Last Blues Preacher, about the life and legacy of civil rights leader and gospel singer, Rev. Clay Evans.
The book is a comprehensive look at the life and ministry of this ground-breaking Chicago pastor. In the journey, we learn of the passions of Reverend Evans for music, justice, and the Word of God.
Born in 1925 into a life of sharecropping in Brownsville, Tennessee, Clay Evans was desperate to escape life working for the descendants of plantation owners. At night, he listened to jazz musicians like Cab Calloway and Guy Lombardo on the radio and imagined one day singing on a secular stage. But a greater calling drew Evans into ministry, and he soon stood upon a unique stage as one of America's most famous gospel singers, civil rights heroes, and the godfather of Chicago's black preachers. From this stage Clay sought to rescue his family from poverty and inspire a city and a nation to see, hear, and witness the dignity and value of black lives.
Zach Mills's lively and powerful biography, The Last Blues Preacher, brings the life and work of Reverend Evans into our time and examines how current national conversations on race, religion, politics, and popular culture can and should inform contemporary activism.