1965 was a stirring year for social change. The power of the civil rights movement was at its height, and the hope and threat of social change (depending on where you sat) was riding high. It penetrated unlikely lives - including a retired fundamentalist white missionary couple in the tiny town of Savannah, Ohio. The first issue of Freedom Now, the magazine that would become The Other Side, rolled off a secondhand press in Anne and Fred Alexanders basement that year.
Three months ago, on the brink of its 40-year anniversary, The Other Side magazine ceased publication. In between those bookends a remarkable legacy was created.
Behind the Alexanders homegrown effort was the stalwart belief that if white Christians were told the truth about racism, they would repent and change their ways. Instead, the couples work became largely irrelevant to their targeted constituency (fundamentalist white Baptist Christians), but it was embraced by a new generation of radical young evangelicals who learned of the magazine through John, the Alexanders son, then at Wheaton College. A few years later, a group of impassioned young seminary students in Chicago would crank out their first issue of the Post-American, a modest publication that would become Sojourners.