MLK Day event held at WVU-Parkersburg

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 6:14 PM EST
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Martin Luther King's most famous speech was about more than "I Have a Dream". That's what a history professor at West Virginia University at Parkersburg told a lunchtime audience Tuesday.

The college, which was closed Monday for the holiday, held its Martin Luther King event Tuesday.

Professor Robert Anderson said much of the August, 1963 address was Dr. King encouraging a non-violent path to African-American equality.

"Change has to come, it's expected to come, it's coming very slowly, but we can't do it violently," Dr. Anderson said, explaining the point of Dr. King's address.

"We have not climbed all the way to the mountain that Dr. King hoped that all our little children will play on one day," noted WVU-P President Chris Gilmer, "but we are making that climb."

Dr. Anderson noted the address came months after violence during the civil rights march in Birmingham, Alabama.

He added that, even after a landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Americans largely thought the civil rights issue was confined to the south. He added that President John F, Kennedy had not acted more strongly on the issue until the summer of 1963, fearing a political backlash from southern states.

Anderson's address was also sponsored by college's OPEN task force.