Civil rights icon will speak Friday at ACRI

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- C.T. Vivian, one of Martin Luther King's most trusted lieutenants and one of the original Freedom Riders, will be the featured speaker Friday at the Albany Civil Rights Institute Museum at Old Mt. Zion Church.

The joint ACRI-Albany State University event is part of ASU's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Albany State College student protest movement.

The theme for the evening will be "A Dream Remembered, a Vision Continued" and will begin at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

One of the 1961 Freedom Riders, Vivian will speak about his much earlier experiences in 1947, as a young man in the north heading up one of the early sit-ins of the post-World War II era in Peoria, Ill.

His success there introduced him to the work that would lead him into the eye of the storm that would be the modern Civil Rights Movement.

The movement eclipsed much of America's history during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s and became the quintessential example of how to conduct a peaceful revolution.

Vivian will also ponder the turn the movement has taken in the 21st century and why it is so important to get young people involved in the ongoing struggle.

According to Wikipedia, Vivian continues to speak publicly and offer workshops, and has done so at many conferences around the country and the world, including with the United Nations.

He was featured as an activist and an analyst in the civil rights documentary "Eyes on the Prize" and has been featured in a PBS special "The Healing Ministry of Dr. C. T. Vivian."

Vivian has made numerous appearances on Oprah Winfrey's television talk show as well as the Montel Williams Show and Donahue. He is the focus of the biography "Challenge and Change by Lydia Walker."

He is also a noted author, having penned "Black Power and The American Myth" in 1970, a book about the failings of the civil rights movement.