MLK scholar will share insights from studies
In celebrating Black History Month, George Fox University will present Martin Luther King Jr. scholar Dr. Clayborne Carson in a speech headlined "The Inner Life and Global Vision."
The speech next week is an opportunity to hear from a scholar and activist closely associated with King's life and legacy from one of the nation's most renowned MLK scholars and a professor of history at Stanford University. As a director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford, Carson has focused on African-American protest movements and the political thought of the period after World War II. Carson participated in civil rights and antiwar protests and many of his writings reflect his experiences by stressing the importance of grassroots political activity within the African-American freedom struggle, according to a release.
Carson has penned a number of books and memoirs on MLK and the civil rights movement, including "In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s," "Malcolm X: The FBI File," "The Struggle for Freedom: A History of African Americans" and "Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr."
In 1985, the late Coretta Scott King invited Carson to edit and publish her husband's papers in The King Project and produced seven volumes of the "Papers of Martin Luther King Jr." The seven volumes contain a comprehensive edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications and unpublished writings.
"My talk will focus on King's last book: 'Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?' " Carson said. "I will suggest that during the 50 years since his death, we haven't yet answered that question. He wrote the book after the passage of landmark civil rights legislation, so he was suggesting that we should build upon that achievement rather than become complacent because of civil rights gains."
Dr. Carson found that a common thread in King's papers is that, "Throughout his life, King was always a social gospel minister concerned with ending war and violence, eliminating poverty and creating a global community that transcends differences of race, ethnicity, gender, and religion," Carson said. "As for what has impacted me about King's life, I continued to be inspired by the fact that he was a humble man who recognized his limitations but nonetheless brought about remarkable gains in the continuing struggle for human rights."
The event is cohosted by George Fox's Center for Peace and Justice and the school's departments of history, sociology and politics. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Canyon Commons dining hall off Villa Road.