“Facing the Challenge of a New Age”: Martin Luther King Jr. at UWI June 20 1965

Another Martin Luther King Day and Rev Dr King’s visit to the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in June 1965 is still well worth remembering; his thoughts expressed then still resonate. In November 2015, 50 years after the visit, we used the occasion to remember that visit and to launch an occasional series with the UWI Department of History & Archaeology focused on UWI & The 1960s. Look out for more under that title in 2018. And come in to the museum where we have Dr King’s speech at the UWI, playing.

UWI Museum

Martin Luther King Jr., born Jan 15, 1929, whose birthday is now celebrated each third Monday in the month of January, holds a special place in memory at the University of the West Indies. On June 20, 1965, his sermon at the 1965 Valedictory Service transfixed not only the over 400 graduates, but also a crowd of hundreds more who packed the hall.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at UWI shaking hands with a member of the public Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at UWI shaking hands with a member of the public

‘Facing the Challenge of a New Age’ was the title he used, speaking about the increasing interdependence of states and the need for worldwide brotherhood. He charged the audience to meet injustice with love, an ethos reflected in his efforts to advance civil rights through non-violent civil disobedience.  And, in the segment most remembered by many who were there, he argued for everyone to strive to be the best that they…

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