We would like to thank the Reverend Dr. Dumas Alexander Harshaw, Jr. for his enlightening and eloquent talk about the history of the Civil Rights Movement at last night’s Citizen Diplomacy Series. We would also like to thank members of his congregation from First Baptist Church for attending and hope they felt welcomed and found the talk as informative and inspiring as we did.
Although the role of the black church is well known in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Harshaw explored how the historical forces that gave birth and developed the black church were at the root of the movement. According to Dr. Harshaw, the cultural significance and features of the church as an institution in African American lives - as a central social and artistic hub - served as the catalyst and model. He also explored the lives of two pivotal leaders of the Civil Rights Movement - The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X - and how their theology and different journeys shaped their voices for equal rights. After the talk, Dr. Harshaw took questions from IF members and guests about current issues and his impressions.