April 3, 2018, marks the eve of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 50 year mark of his emphatic speech titled, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Members of the University of Dayton community gathered in Kennedy Union ballroom to hear and watch a recording of the speech, along with video and photographs of King.
The event was presided over by President Eric Spina and distinguished members of the University staff. Julius Amin, professor of history and alumni chair in Humanities, served as moderator and featured Una Cadegan, professor of history and Herbert Martin, professor emeritus of english. The feature was followed by a Q&A session.
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Amin prefaced the discussion by praising King and all of his work in creating a mass racial movement.
“We will engage in this conversation about this honorable man, about this great man, one of America’s finest, one of the world’s finest,” Amin said.
When asked about the lasting legacy of King and the current status of the civil rights movement, Cadegan stated, “It’s been a question that has re-emerged since the events in Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“It took me a while to understand. They say people look at us from the outside and they see a leaderless movement, but what they don’t see when they look closely is that the movement is ‘leaderfull’.”
The combination of King’s speech and the insight provided by the panel, made for a moving night of reflection and remembrance.
The lasting influence of King is clear as the University of Dayton takes time to recognize the activist, leader, preacher and teacher, that was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photos Taken By Julia Bonfiglio/Staff Writer