Martin Luther King

One of the most important men in the nation’s history spoke quietly in Richmond.

Martin Luther King is one of the greatest peace orators of all time. He was a main leader of the American Civil Rights movement, a political activist, a Baptist minister and the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In March, 1959 he had visited India and the Middle East’s Holy Land and was profoundly moved.

The very next month he was in Richmond to speak at Earlham’s convocation program on April 23, espousing nonviolence and human acceptance.

His audience became spellbound by the significance that only great truth can embody. He said, “If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.”

King’s life was indeed redemptive and would end violently at the age of 39 when an assassin would kill him.

He did not make it to the mountaintop, but his words live on, and today all brothers and sisters who have reached the peak look on him with reverence, as he led the way.

It was Richmond’s distinct honor to have one of the most widely revered figures in American history appear here.



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June 19, 2012