News

‘It’s a Limbo’: Grad Students, Frustrated by Harvard’s Response to Bullying Complaint, Petition for Reform

News

Community Groups Promote Vaccine Awareness Among Cambridge Residents of Color

News

Students Celebrate Upcoming Harvard-Yale Game at CEB Spirit Week

News

Harvard Epidemiologist Michael Mina Resigns, Appointed Chief Science Officer at eMed

News

Harvard Likely to Loosen Campus Covid Restrictions in the Spring, Garber Says

King Honored at Student Breakfast

By Sandhya R. Rao

Harvard officials who knew Martin Luther King Jr. and Harvard students who were not born until after his death gathered Friday for a breakfast in the Freshman Union to remember the civil rights leader.

The event, organized by the Office of the Dean of Students, drew about 30 people.

President Neil L. Rudenstine said the breakfast was to express "sorrow for a loss, and gratitude for a life that was incalculably great."

Undergraduate Council Secretary Cynthia D. Johnson '96 spoke of King as "a man who has managed to speak across generations."

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III and Dean of Freshman Elizabeth S. Nathans praised King's use of nonviolence to extend his call to Americans for equality for all.

Speakers also stressed the need to continue to pursue King's dream for equality today.

"Bitterness is a legacy of violent South history," Epps said. "The South today is a land full of expectation and bitterness."

"We are here not only to reflect on history," Johnson said, "but to shake it."

Professor Emeritus John Snow spoke of his several encounters with King. Snow introduced King at Christ Church in Cambridge, where he announced his opposition to the Vietnam War.

"We are a survivalist nation," Snow said. "King was someone who thought [the survival of freedom for Black Americans] was a great deal more important than his own survival."

Snow also related an incident when he and eight other priests were sitting in the rear of an airplane that King was on. When King walked by the priests he said to them jokingly, "Now you know what it's like to be in the back of the bus."

Epps told of meeting King for the first time at a sermon when Epps was in college.

The dean said the reverend preaching the sermon illustrated an analogy between the struggle for equality and baseball, naming first base faith, second hope, third charity, pitcher Christ, shortstop love, catcher the holy ghost, batter the devil, and the umpire God. The reverend then said that theumpire would call the devil out, and slavery out,and segregation out.

"Then King arrived," Epps said, and said "Weare starting out on a dangerous game, my friends,and yet I know that God is with us."

Epps praised King for reminding white Americaof its original promise of treating all menequally in a time of blatant, permissiblediscrimination and segregation.

"It was the moment to capture the essence,"Rudenstine said, "and [King] had the courage andintegrity and capacity to do it.

"Then King arrived," Epps said, and said "Weare starting out on a dangerous game, my friends,and yet I know that God is with us."

Epps praised King for reminding white Americaof its original promise of treating all menequally in a time of blatant, permissiblediscrimination and segregation.

"It was the moment to capture the essence,"Rudenstine said, "and [King] had the courage andintegrity and capacity to do it.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags