There can be no freedom without peace and no peace without justice.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 22nd, 1967
Monday, May 20th 7:00PM
Christ Church Cambridge, Zero Garden Street, Cambridge
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, an anniversary that is going to be marked by celebrations and commemorations nationwide this summer.
But four years after he gave that speech, Rev. King came here to Cambridge, to Harvard Square, with a different message for America: one not about a dream of equality of rights but the dangers of war. The war in Vietnam was killing and maiming young Americans at an astonishing rate and the casualty rates for black soldiers were far higher than for whites. At home, President Johnson and the Congress were cutting precious funding for the War on Poverty in favor of the War in Vietnam.
America, King feared, was being both wounded and corrupted by what was happening 9,000 miles away; so he came to Cambridge to issue a new call, one as important in some ways as his “I Have a Dream” speech, one that would link the civil rights and antiwar and antipoverty workers across the nation in a new common crusade for justice, equality, and peace.
But why Cambridge? And what did King say? What did he hope to achieve?
On Monday, May 20th, at 7PM, join Harvard professor Lani Guinier, co-founder of Vietnam Summer Gar Alperovitz, and State Representative Byron Rushing, a legendary civil rights and antiwar legislator here in Massachusetts in an intimate conversation as they discuss “When Martin Luther King Came to Cambridge….”
Forty years after Dr. King spoke, part of his dream was met: America elected its first African-American President. But what else remains to be realized? And what of Dr. King’s challenge in Cambridge has been taken up by Barack Obama, and what not? What linked civil rights, antiwar, and antipoverty efforts into a common cause in Dr. King’s mind that day in Cambridge and how are each of them faring today?
By special arrangement, the conversation among Lani Guinier, Gar Alperovitz, and Byron Rushing takes place in the very room at Christ Church Cambridge where Rev. King issued his challenge. Join them as they reflect on his legacy and its importance today.
Seats are limited for this historic event, but it is free and open to the public.
Street parking available. Harvard Square Red Line T stop one block away.
Parish Hall doors open at 6:45PM.
More information about Vietnam Summer: Vietnam Summer Evolves From Phone Call To Nation-Wide Organizing Project