Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Coretta Scott King at Harvard

There is a film in the collection of the HFA that is a record of a speech Coretta Scott King gave at Harvard’s Sanders Theater in 1968, a week after the assassination of RFK, a few months after the assassination of MLK.

Although Harvard graduated its first black student in 1870, and had a sister institution, Radcliffe, you will find the audience is white, male.

The film is camera original, mag sound on film, 16mm Ektachrome.

From the HFA catalog:

Shot by WGBH-TV. Sticker on can says air date was 6/24/1968. Speech was on June 12.

Following Rev. King’s assassination, the 1968 Class Committee invited his widow, Coretta Scott King, to speak at Class Day and she accepted their invitation. On Wednesday, June 12, a week after the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Mrs. King addressed the Class of 1968, their families, and friends with these words:

“As young people, as students, your lives have been greatly affected by the loss of these champions of freedom, of justice, of human dignity and peace… Your generation must speak out with righteous indignation against the forces which are seeking to destroy us…

… Historians of the future may record that the alliance of the civil rights movement with the student movement that began in the late 1950’s and matured into broad political and social action in the 60’s was the salvation of the nation.”

Click on the article below to read more and to watch the film.

Harvard scholars on life, death, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.