Dr. Martin Luther King
For the second of the Spring Issues Lectures, the Political Forum will sponsor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King, the most prominent spokesman of the civil rights movement, will speak on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Pickard Theater.
Dr. King is internationally known for his organization of passive resistance to segregation in the U.S. and was named by Time Magazine as its Man of the Year for 1963. He was described by that magazine as "the unchallenged voice of the Negro people and the disquieting conscience of the White."
He planned the Montgomery bus boycott of 1957 and the Birmingham demonstrations of 1963. During the past year he made 350 speeches across the country and lectured at over 150 colleges and universities. He is presently Co-Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. King was educated at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University where he received his Ph.D. in the field of Systematic Theology. He has been granted ten honorary degrees from various institutions including Doctor of Divinity from Boston University, and Doctor of Laws from Howard University.
His published works include: Stride Toward Freedom, which won the Ainsfleld-Wolf Award as the best book in race relations for 1958; The Measure of A Man, 1959; and Strength to Love, 1963. He has traveled extensively in Europe, South America, and Africa, and in 1957, attended the Independence Celebration of Ghana at the request of the Prime Minister.
A believer in non-violent resistance who has taken Gandhi as his
model, Dr. King expresses one element of his philosophy in the following paragraph from Stride Toward Freedom:
If the American Negro and the other victims of oppression succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle for freedom, future generations will be recipients of a desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to them will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos. Violence is not the way.
Mr. Bayard Rustin, a new member of the Negro leadership ranks in the civil rights struggle, will speak on May 5th at 7:30 p.m. in Pickard Theater on "Goals and Strategies Necessary in the Achievement of Equal Rights." This will be the first of the Spring Issues Lectures, sponsored annually by the Political Forum.
Mr. Rustin was Deputy Director of the March on Washington of August 28, 1963, and directed the New York School Boycott of February 22, 1964.
First Freedom Ride
He has been active in race relations since 1941 when he became the first field secretary of the newly organised Congress of Racial Equality. In 1947 he participated in the first Freedom Ride — the Journey of Reconciliation designed to test enforcement of the 1948 Irene Morgan case outlawing discrimination in interstate travel.
He served as Director of the Committee against Discrimination in the Armed Forces, which secured President Truman's executive order eliminating segregation in the Armed Forces in 1952.
In 1955 Dr. King invited him to join in organising the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott, and in 1960 he planned marches on the national conventions of both major parties.
Mr. Rustin has participated to many protest movements outside the United States also. In 1945 he became chairman of the Free India Committee and was arrested several times for sitting in at the British Embassy. In 1951 he went to West Africa where he worked with Asikewe and Nkrumah. With George Hauser, he organised the Committee to Support South African Resistance, which in 1963 became the American Committee on Africa. In 1962 he attended the All African People's Conference in Addis Ababa.
A long-time pacifist, Mr. Rustin became executive secretary of the War Resister's Board in 1953. He went to England in 1957 where he helped to organise the Aldermaston Peace Marches. In 1960, he participated in the Sahara protests against French Nuclear testing.