Civil rights activist Vincent Harding dead at 82
Long-time civil rights activist Vincent Harding has died. He was 82.
Harding is best known for working closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights era.
In March of 1967, taking note of anti-war protests at his alma mater, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent a telegram care of Vincent Harding to the “men of conscience” at Morehouse commending their courage and calling them his inspiration.
Days later in New York, King delivered one of his most stinging criticisms of American involvement in Vietnam. Harding, at the time an adviser to Morehouse students as well as to King, is credited with writing that speech.
Harding died Monday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
He’s remembered for his commitment to justice and peace, and for his modesty. Harding met King when traveling from Chicago to Atlanta for civil rights work. He became a trusted adviser to both King and Coretta Scott King. He later served as the first director of what is now known as the King Center in Atlanta.
In addition to his contributions to the civil rights movement, Harding was a published author. One of his most critically-acclaimed works is “There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America.”
The New York-born Harding taught at Denver’s Iliff until his retirement in 2004, and his legacy there includes a research center on social change that he and Rosemarie Freeney Harding founded in 1997.
Rest in peace Mr. Harding.
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