Charles McLaurin

Charles McLaurin was invited by our men in the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies to be a part of the programming for this past week and the celebrations surrounding the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

McLaurin was our Chapel Speaker last Thursday.  I grabbed my camera and made my way through the snow.  It was a nasty day, weather wise, and I worried a little bit about student turnout.

I didn’t need to worry – great crowd.

McLaurin told the stories behind the voter registration effort in Mississippi in the early 1960s.  I couldn’t help but think he was talking about another country…were we really that nasty?…and we worry about partisan rhetoric these days.

McLaurin closed with a joke about his wife telling him not to “out-do” himself and with a little bit of pride in how far we have come.  Without any human emotion other than immense pride in the American people, he noted that an African-American president was something that had eluded even his dreams.  “A black Senator or Congressman in my times – surely. But a President?”

McLaurin has every reason to be a “chip on my shoulder” guy.  But my time in Chapel says otherwise.

You can read more about his visit to campus here.