The Coltrane Church

Apostles of Sound, Agents of Social Justice

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About the Book

The John Coltrane Church began in 1965, when Franzo and Marina King attended a performance of the John Coltrane Quartet at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop and saw a vision of the Holy Ghost as Coltrane took the bandstand. Celebrating the spirituality of the late jazz innovator and his music, the storefront church emerged during the demise of black-owned jazz clubs in San Francisco, and at a time of growing disillusionment with counter-culture spirituality following the 1978 Jonestown tragedy.
For 50 years, the church has effectively fought redevelopment, environmental racism, police brutality, mortgage foreclosures, religious intolerance, gender disparity and the corporatization of jazz. This critical history is the first book-length treatment of an extraordinary African-American church and community institution.

About the Author(s)

Nicholas Louis Baham III is a professor of ethnic studies at California State University East Bay. He lives in Oakland, California.

Bibliographic Details

Nicholas Louis Baham III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9496-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1922-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

1. Apostles of Sound 13

2. The ­Self-Representation and Spiritual Teachings of John Coltrane the Saint 41

3. Jimbo’s Bop City 63

4. The Yardbird Club and the History of African American Jazz Entrepreneurship in San Francisco 77

5. The Dr. Huey P. Newton Experience 105

6. The Yardbird and One Mind Temple and New Church Movements in the 1960s and ’70s 115

7. The Alice Coltrane Experience 133

8. The African Orthodox Church 151

9. Anatomy of a Miracle 159

10. The Oscar Grant Movement 169

11. The John Coltrane University of Arts and Social Justice 180

12. The Battle Against Environmental Racism 192

13. The Ordination of Pastor Wanika Kristi ­King-Stephens 210

14. The Apostles of Sound Occupy SF 232

15. Answering the Prophetic Call 243

Chapter Notes 249

Bibliography 259

Index 263