In an unsettled political moment, at the end of a divisive campaign, the late, great civil rights elder Vincent Harding is a voice of calm, wisdom, and perspective. He was wise about how the civil rights vision might speak to 21st-century realities. Just as importantly, he pursued this by way of patient yet passionate cross-cultural, cross-generational relationship. He reminded us that the Civil Rights Movement was spiritually as well as politically vigorous; it aspired to a “beloved community,” not merely a tolerant integrated society. He posed and lived a question that is freshly in our midst: Is America possible?
was chairperson of the Veterans of Hope Project at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, where he was professor of Religion and Transformation. His published works include Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement, There Is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America, Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero, and the essay “Is America Possible?”