intro’d to Howard here..
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Howard Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. He was Dean of Chapel at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 21 books, and in 1944 helped found a multicultural church. Thurman, along with Mordecai Johnson and Vernon Johns, was considered one of the three greatest African-American preachers in the early 20th-century.
Thurman traveled broadly, heading Christian missions and meeting with world figures such as Mahatma Gandhi. When Thurman asked Gandhi what message he should take back to the United States, Gandhi said he regretted not having made nonviolence more visible as a practice worldwide and suggested some American black men would succeed where he had failed.
Thurman was a prolific author, writing 20 books of ethical and cultural criticism. The most famous of his works, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), deeply influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders, both black and white, of the modern Civil Rights Movement. (Thurman was a classmate and friend of King’s father at Morehouse College. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Thurman while he attended Boston University, and Thurman in turn mentored his former classmate’s son and his friends). He served as spiritual advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sherwood Eddy, James Farmer, A. J. Muste, and Pauli Murray.
“In the conflicts between man and man, between group and group, between nation and nation, the loneliness of the seeker for community is sometimes unendurable. The radical tension between good and evil, as man sees it and feels it, does not have the last word about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste. Always he must know that the contradictions of life are not final or ultimate; he must distinguish between failure and a many-sided awareness so that he will not mistake conformity for harmony, uniformity for synthesis. He will know that for all men to be alike is the death of life in man, and yet perceive harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance.” From The Search For Common Ground; An Inquiry into The Basis of Man’s Experience of Community.
For some unexplained reason, the following quote by Dr. Howard Thurman is widely and incorrectly attributed on the Internet to one “Harold Thurman Whitman” (which is, in fact, a fictional name):
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” [The only place in print this quotation occurs is in Gil Bailie’s Violence Unveiled, p. xv, where he attributes the quotation to a conversation he had with Thurman.]
“…community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others from beyond them – unknown and undiscovered brothers.” From The Search For Common Ground; An Inquiry into The Basis of Man’s Experience of Community, page 104.
on hold at library.. thanks library
search for common ground