Nor, herself a feminist symbol, though not a member of any feminist organization, did she neglect the cause of gender equality.This sentence could be reworded ten different ways, each time making it clearer and less showy. To wit: "Though she was a feminist symbol who attended to the cause of gender equality, she did not belong to any feminist organization."
Other than this ugly sentence, the review is interesting, making the book, and the subject of the book, sound fascinating.
In 1927, she established a temple commissary that, as the Depression settled in, emerged as “one of the region’s most effective and inclusive welfare institutions.” According to Epstein:
When the schools stopped feeding children free lunches, Aimee took over the program. When city welfare agencies staggered under the load of beggars, the women of Angelus Temple sewed quilts and baked loaves of bread by the thousands. When bread lines stretched for city blocks . . . Angelus Temple was the only place anyone could get a meal, clothing, and blankets, no questions asked.
She brushed aside the distinction between the “deserving” and the “undeserving” poor, and that between legal and illegal residents. One Mexican, the actor Anthony Quinn, who as a teen-ager acted as a translator for her, told an interviewer, “During the Depression . . . the one human being that never asked you what your nationality was, what you believed in and so forth, was Aimee Semple McPherson. All you had to do was pick up the phone and say, ‘I’m hungry,’ and within an hour there’d be a food basket there for you. . . . She literally kept most of that Mexican community . . . alive.” In an era when anti-black racism was freely expressed, not least loudly by fundamentalist white Protestants, she persistently tried to make “interracial revival a reality at Angelus Temple,” bringing a series of black leaders to its pulpit and welcoming into the congregation poor Southern blacks who had recently immigrated to a Los Angeles of increasing racial tensions. The same week of the Detroit race riots, in June of 1943, McPherson publicly converted the notorious black former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson on the Temple stage, and embraced him “as he raised his hand in worship.”
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