The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was no stranger to the Miami Valley.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the civil rights leader visited four Dayton-area colleges, giving speeches at each one. Earlier this year, this news organization took a look back at King’s visits to the area.
King spoke at Central State University and Wilberforce University — Ohio’s two historically black colleges — the University of Dayton and Antioch College, his wife Coretta Scott King’s alma mater.
With the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination approaching, here’s some of what he told students, graduates and listeners at each area college he visited.
Central State University commencement, 1958
“It’s a great time to be alive. You are graduating at the time of the dying of an old world and the birth of a new one.”
University of Dayton, 1964
“Negroes have come a long, long way but we have a long, long way to go.”
“We stand on the borderline. The system of segregation is on its deathbed. The only uncertainty is how costly the segregationists will make the funeral,” he said.
Wilberforce University, 1965
“Racial injustice is still the Negroes’ burden and America’s shame.”
Antioch College, 1965
“All men of good will are indebted to this institution for its heritage. I am indebted to Antioch for having given me a marvelous wife.”
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