Howard Thurman

"Backs Against the Wall" explores the life of Howard Thurman, an important 20th century religious figure. It will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Second Presbyterian Church.

Second Presbyterian Church will host a free community screening of "Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Martin Doblmeier.

"Backs Against The Wall" explores the life and legacy of an important 20th-century religious figure. The grandson of slaves, Thurman helped provide a spiritual foundation to the civil rights movement, inspiring many of its leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and John Lewis.

In the mid-1930s, Thurman was the first African-American invited to meet Mahatma Gandhi, who shared his strategy of nonviolent resistance.

Thurman's writings and speeches after returning to the U.S. helped spread the philosophy of nonviolence. He also is remembered for helping launch The Fellowship Church for All People in San Francisco, a pioneering venture to create the nation’s first interracial, intercultural church community.

Thurman, admired as a great preacher, authored more than 20 books.

This community screening is sponsored by Charleston Atlantic Presbytery, Charleston Illumination Project, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, Mt. Zion AME Church, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church and Second Presbyterian Church.

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.