Dan Rudd's work wasn't in vain. More than anyone else in his time, he helped develop a Black Catholic consciousness that attracted national, even international, attention. By no means did Black Catholic activism die with him. Groups such as the Federated Colored Catholics and the Catholic Interracial Council pushed for racial justice both inside and outside the Church. And during the pre-Civil Rights era, the Vatican pushed American bishops to take a stronger stand for racial justice.
For all Catholics, white and black alike, Rudd remains an inspiration. His life, Gary Agee notes, was "remarkable and inspirational . . . a compelling challenge to those who believed in the inferiority of the race." And it encourages us to reflect on the true meaning of the word Catholic: "universal."