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Reverend Eugene Rivers

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Information about Reverend Eugene Rivers

Profile image of Reverend Eugene Rivers

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Mangoes, Corn Chowder
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bookstores
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/9/1950
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Mangoes, Corn Chowder
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bookstores
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/9/1950
Birth Location:
Boston
See how Reverend Eugene Rivers is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Youth activist Reverend Eugene Franklin Rivers, III was born on April 9, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts. Rivers spent his early years in Chicago where his parents, Mildred Bell Rivers and Eugene F. Rivers, Jr. were members of the Nation of Islam. Rivers’s father, as Eugene 3X, designed the masthead for Muhammad Speaks. Rivers attended Edmund Elementary School and McCosh Elementary School in Chicago. After his parents divorced, Rivers attended Joseph Parnell Elementary and Wagner Junior High School. Mentored by Reverend Benjamin Smith of Philadelphia’s Deliverance Evangelistic Temple, Rivers graduated from Dobbins Vocational High School in 1968. Rivers then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while he became active in street level organizing and black church politics. In 1970, Rivers was a part of the Black Economic Development Conference working with Muhammad Kenyatta; he later joined Lucius Walker and James Forman in the Reparations Movement. Rivers attended Yale as an unregistered activist from 1973 to 1976. Officially admitted to Harvard University in 1976, Rivers was mentored by Dr. Martin Kilsonl. Rivers met his wife, Jacqueline, at Harvard University.

Recognized as one of the most effective crusaders against gang violence, Rivers founded Azusa Christian Community in 1984 in the Four Corners section of Boston’s inner city Dorchester neighborhood. As President of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation, he worked to build new grassroots leadership in forty of the worst inner city neighborhoods in inner city America. Rivers served as president of the Ella J. Baker House, the separate 501 (c)(3) non-profit originally created by the Azusa Christian Community.

Rivers has appeared on CNN's Hardball, NBC's Meet the Press, PBS's Charlie Rose, BET's Lead Story, and National Public Radio, among other programs. Rivers was featured or provided commentary for publications such as Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe, as well as periodicals such as the Boston Review, Sojourners, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture. Rivers authored or co-authored numerous essays, including On the Responsibility of Intellectuals in an Age of Crack, Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: A Manifesto for a New Black Movement, Black Churches and the Challenge of U.S. Foreign and Development Policy (2001), An Open Letter to the U.S. Black Religious, Intellectual, and Political Leadership Regarding AIDS and the Sexual Holocaust in Africa (1999), and A Pastoral Letter to President George W. Bush on Bridging our Racial Divide (2001). In addition to television and print appearances, Rivers lectured at universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Calvin College.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Eugene Rivers' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his paternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers his paternal grandfather, Eugene Rivers, Sr.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his mother's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his father's artistic talent
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the schism in the Nation of Islam
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his family's decision to move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene describes his father's position at Muhammad Speaks
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his father's role in the Nation of Islam
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his mother's personality and his likeness to her
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the sights and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his relationship with his parents
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early interests, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early interests, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Summersville gang in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Summersville gang in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his initiation into the Summersville gang
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the impact of his gang activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about his early interest in art
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his early influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Nation of Islam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his religious background
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about regional differences in the black church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his experience at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers talks about the Black Arts Movement in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the relationship between black nationalism and the church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his perspective on black nationalism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his early community activism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers Muhammad Kenyatta
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his activism with Muhammad Kenyatta
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the Black Theology Project
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers reflects upon the Black Power Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers George L. Jackson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his decision to study at Yale University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his experience at Yale University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers reflects upon the Angola Civil War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers the Committee for a Unified Newark
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls the rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes his autodidactic education at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his issues with the Black Power Movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes how he supported himself during his studies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his intellectual influences at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Eugene Rivers recalls his peers and mentors at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the intellectuals in the Black Nationalist movement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Eugene Rivers describes the intellectuals in the Black Nationalist movement, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Eugene Rivers remembers matriculating at Harvard University