Vincent Harding

May 20, 2014

Vincent Harding at the Clarence Jordan Symposium in 2012
Theologian and civil rights activist Vincent Harding passed away yesterday. He worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and authored several books. As a Mennonite he brought an important voice for peace during the civil rights movement and later. Harding helped write King's famous speech against the Vietnam War entitled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence" that King delivered at Riverside Church in New York City a year before King's assassination. In more recent years, Harding continued to offer a prophetic critique of societal and political problems, such as his criticism of efforts to water-down King's messages and his condemnation of President Barack Obama's use of violence. I had the opportunity to hear him speak twice - first at the Clarence Jordan Symposium in 2012 and then at the Wild Goose Festival in 2013. The Mennonite World Review printed one of my photos of Harding from the Jordan event. Both times he offered thought-provoking talks that provided a unique and needed perspective. Harding's voice is one that will be missed.