Interview with Rev. Orloff Miller
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

YEAH, IN THAT MOMENT, JUST GIVE ME AN IDEA OF JUST CHURCH AND RELIGION IN THE CONTEXT OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE SOUTH AT THAT TIME. WHICH ROLE IT'S PLAYING.

Rev. Orloff Miller:

One of the things I had to recognize was that Unitarian Universalism is an upper-class church, certainly was very much so at that time, very much removed from the black community—north or south. And so, what I was experiencing more was my boyhood religion of Methodism, I could relate through my boyhood experience more easily than I could through Unitarian Universalism in terms of black religion, uh, as I experienced it in Selma. And I knew the black spirituals, the Negro spirituals because of that background, I didn't learn that through the Unitarian Universalist Association. Uh, and I was in some ways quite ashamed of the fact that Unitarian Universalism was not more involved, but Selma changed all that. Because before we were done with Selma and Selma was done with us, half of our entire denominational ministry was involved in Selma, present in Selma, actually got to Selma. And many, many of our lay people from all across the country were in Selma. After Jim was killed we had, we established a Unitarian Universalist presence there, and for the first few weeks we always had at least three people there, I guess representing Jim and Clark Olsen, and myself in some sense and then throughout the summer we always had a clergyman as, as the Unitarian Universalist presence there in Selma.