Civil Rights Activist Edwin King Will Speak at Yale

Celebrated civil rights activist and champion of racial justice Edwin King will speak at Yale University on February 24.

A native of Mississippi, King is one of the most prominent white southerners associated with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He joined the front line of the struggle as a young seminarian and earned his stripes being arrested in the protests of Montgomery, Alabama, in 1960.

Later as an ordained minister, he served as chaplain in Jackson, Mississippi’s predominantly black Tougaloo College and teamed with John Salter and Medgar Evers in what has come to be known as the Jackson, Mississippi, Movement. He was the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party candidate for lieutenant governor and was among the delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention who sought to break the all-white hold on the Mississippi representation to the Convention.

A prolific author, King has contributed to many books and periodicals on the civil rights movement and lectures frequently on the subject. He is also regularly called upon as an authority on the struggle for racial equality that marked the 60s.

In 1964, he officiated at the funeral of James Cheney, who had been slain by white supremacists along with two other civil rights workers. King is now at work on a book about that chapter of American history.

King is on the faculty of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and devotes much of his time to causes such as improving race relations and protecting the rights of individuals to privacy.

His lecture, “Organized Churches, Individual Faith and the Civil Rights Crisis in 1960s Mississippi,” will be delivered in the lecture hall of Sterling Memorial Library from 4 to 6 p.m.

Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345