Students, faculty, and staff celebrated the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with dramatic readings of his legendary speeches in the Little Building Dining Hall on January 21.
Michael Brown, assistant professor in the Journalism Department, read an excerpt from King’s “How Long, Not Long,” speech that was given on the steps of the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 25, 1965, after the march from Selma.
“He did his best work when he was preaching,” Brown said. “He was preaching when he did this speech.”
Brown spoke some of King’s famous words from that day, which included: “We are moving to the land of freedom. We will go on with the faith that nonviolence and its power transforms our yesterdays into bright tomorrows…How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow.”
Professor Steve Yarbrough, of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, read an excerpt from King’s April 30, 1967, speech, which Yarbrough attended and specifically addressed King’s objections to the Vietnam War.
“Fortunately, my mother decided that I needed to hear him speak,” said Yarbrough. “That was 36 years ago. I’ve never forgotten the sound of his voice, and I never will.”
Other participants in the January 21 readings were Muna Salah Moushien ’14; Shanae Burch ’16; Najah Muhammad ’17; Tikesha Morgan, director, Multicultural Student Affairs; Steven Martin, director, Off-Campus Student Services; Ken Mattsson, assistant director, Career Services; and Jason Meier, director, Student Activities.