“A Mighty Oak Has Fallen: Dr. Vincent Harding”

Dr. Vincent Harding, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s colleague and a theologian, historian, and nonviolent activist, died May 19, 2014. Born in Harlem, educated at Columbia and the University of Chicago, and Chair of the History and Sociology Department at Spelman College, Dr. Harding was a Mennonite pastor who was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War. He drafted the speech King delivered at Riverside Church as a major anti-Vietnam War presentation. After King’s assassination in 1968, Harding worked with Coretta Scott King to establish the King Center in Atlanta and was the Center’s first director. In 1997, Harding and his wife founded Veterans of Hope, an initiative on religion, culture and participatory democracy that emphasizes nonviolent and grass root approaches to social change, at Iliff School of Theology in Denver where he was Professor of Religion and Social Transformation.

Vincent Harding’s remarkable career is chronicled in many places. See one memorial on the Sojourner Magazine website here: http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/05/20/memory-dr-vincent-harding-prophetic-voice-justice-and-vigorous-nonviolence

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