Vincent Harding
Vincent Harding

Vincent Harding was a Sojourners contributing editor and a professor at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. 

Posts By This Author

From the Archives: February 1988

by Vincent Harding 01-04-2016
Down at the Cross
NATALIA61 / Shutterstock

NATALIA61 / Shutterstock

Down at the Cross

To Redeem the Soul of America

by Vincent Harding 03-14-2013
King's "living letter" from Birmingham jail still speaks to us all.

AT TIMES IT SEEMS VERY HARD to realize that half a century has passed since my late wife, Rosemarie, and I were in Birmingham, Ala., living out a part of our years of service as representatives of the Mennonite churches of America to the Southern freedom movement—that historic black-led struggle for the expansion of democracy in America (inadequately labeled "the civil rights movement").

It was in the midst of those powerful days, in the late winter and early springtime of 1963, when our extraordinary people's movement was spreading to dozens of communities across the South, with some important reverberations in the North, and across the world as well. Usually initiated by courageous home-grown black leaders such as Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth of Birmingham and Victoria Gray of Palmers Crossing, Miss., the determined local groups often called upon national or South-wide organizations to help them in their campaigns.

Late in 1961, Shuttlesworth, who was part of the King-led Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), asked Martin Luther King Jr. and SCLC to come help the Birmingham movement. It faced a level of continuing white terrorism that led the black community to call their city "Bombingham," referring, of course, to the deadly violence they encountered whenever they attempted to challenge the white segregationist powers who were determined to keep black people in a submissive, separate, and dominated role.

When King and SCLC decided to respond to Shuttlesworth and move onto the Birmingham scene, Rosemarie and I were already friends and co-workers with Martin and Coretta, and King asked us to come participate in the struggle for the transformation of Birmingham. So we were present and in the line of marchers when King, his co-worker Ralph Abernathy, and others were arrested in early April 1963.

'Do Not Grow Weary or Lose Heart'

by Vincent Harding 03-01-2012

"Fading Obama" photo by Heather Wilson

Many people who were hopeful for change in the wake of Barack Obama's election have become disillusioned by the rancorous politics of the last few years. What does it take to sustain the struggle for justice over the long haul?

Extended Version of Vincent Harding's Article

by Vincent Harding 09-01-2010

The Content of Our Character

by Vincent Harding 09-01-2010
kropic1 / Shutterstock.com

kropic1 / Shutterstock.com

Why do so many try to lighten the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech?

The Legacy of Martin Luther King: We Won't Turn Back

by Vincent Harding 08-27-2010

[Editor's Note: In anticipation of the anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, God's Politics will feature a series of posts on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King: Coming Close Enough to Measure Character

by Vincent Harding 08-25-2010
[Editor's Note: In anticipation of the anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, God's

The Legacy of Martin Luther King: Making Real the Promises of Democracy

by Vincent Harding 08-23-2010
[Editor's Note: In anticipation of the anniversary of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, God's Politics will feature a series of posts on the

Video Interview with Vincent Harding

Vincent G.

'Our Children Are Waiting for the Music'

by Vincent Harding 01-01-2010

An open letter from a civil rights elder to President Obama.

What Sustains Me

Seventeen activists and church leaders talk about the disciplines that keep them girded for the struggle.

Midwifing a New America

by Vincent Harding 12-09-2008

I think it was sometime early in 2007 that I began to find myself almost possessed by a profound premonitory sense that the next year, this year, 2008, would be filled with a special power.

Singing to Freedom

Song leader and scholar Bernice Johnson Reagon on what music teaches us about democracy, leadership, and the meaning of 'we.'

Toward a More Perfect Union

Remembering James Farmer.

Dangerous Spirituality

by Vincent Harding 01-01-1999

"You have not come to hear a detached, scholarly lecture about the two powerful figures who are on our program. I am deeply and unavoidably attached. Fully engaged.

The Spirit Lives!

by Vincent Harding 01-01-1996

Pilgrims on the Mall.

The Heart to Struggle

by Vincent Harding 11-01-1995
Democracy's history is one of perseverance.

Ralph Ellison: Wounded Healer in a Broken Nation

by Vincent Harding 07-01-1994

By United States Information Agency staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When Ralph Ellison died this spring, he was primarily remembered and honored as the African-American writer who in 1952 had gifted the nation and the world with that magnificent novel, Invisib

Taking Jesus Seriously

by Vincent Harding 12-01-1993

Comment on Howard Thurman by Vincent Harding

God's Appeal to This Age

by Vincent Harding 10-01-1990

The search for alternatives to violence