Author, Civil Rights Activist and Historian Vincent Harding is Dead at 82

Author and civil rights activist Vincent Harding has died of an aneurysm at the age of 82. Dr. Harding was emeritus professor of religion and social transformation at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver. The school confirmed his death to The New York Times.

Professor Harding wrote one of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..'s most famous speeches, in which he stated his opposition to the Vietnam War. Dr. Harding was the first director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. As a historian, he wrote books, consulted for television shows and lectured widely to ensure that future generations understood what had come before during the civil rights movement.

Dr. Harding wrote Dr. King's speech about Vietnam at a time when opposing the war was considered a radical and unpopular view. Dr. King gave the speech called by some "Beyond Vietnam” and by others as "A Time to Break Silence," at Riverside Church in Manhattan on April 4, 1967. His legacy will live on through his writings, including his books: There Is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America, “Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero, The Other American Revolution and Hope and History.

Posted on May 22, 2014

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