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Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian

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Information about Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian

Profile image of Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Minister

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/30/1924
Birth Location:
Howard County, Missouri

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Leader
Minister

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/30/1924
Birth Location:
Howard County
See how Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Reverend C. T. Vivian was born Cordy Tindell Vivian on July 30, 1924 in Howard County, Missouri. As a small boy he migrated with his mother to Macomb, Illinois, where he attended Lincoln Grade School and Edison Junior High School. Vivian graduated from Macomb High School in 1942 and went on to attend Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he worked as the sports editor for the school newspaper.

His first professional job was recreation director for the Carver Community Center in Peoria, Illinois. There, Vivian participated in his first sit-in demonstrations, which successfully integrated Barton's Cafeteria in 1947. Studying for the ministry at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1959, Vivian met Rev. James Lawson, who was teaching Mahatma Ghandhi's nonviolent direct action strategy to the Student Central Committee. Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, James Bevel, James Forman, John Lewis and other students from American Baptist, Fisk University and Tennessee State University executed a systematic non-violent campaign for justice. On April 19, 1960, 4,000 demonstrators marched on City Hall where Vivian and Diane Nash challenged Nashville Mayor Ben West. As a result, Mayor West publicly agreed that racial discrimination was morally wrong. Many of those students became part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1961, Vivian, now a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) participated in Freedom Rides replacing injured members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Vivian was appointed to the executive staff of the SCLC in 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., named him national director of affiliates. Two years later, in an incident that would make national news, Vivian confronted Sheriff Jim Clark on the steps of the Selma courthouse during a voter registration drive. After an impassioned speech by Vivian, Clark struck him on the mouth, portraying Clark to the world as a racist. In 1969, Vivian wrote the first book on the modern-day Civil Rights Movement, entitled Black Power and the American Myth. During these years, he also started a program entitled Vision, sending students from Alabama to college; the program later came to be known as Upward Bound. By 1979, Vivian had organized and was serving as chairman of the board of the National Anti-Klan Network, which is known today as the Center for Democratic Renewal.

Vivian is also the founder of the Black Action Strategies and Information Center (BASIC), a workplace consultancy on race relations and multicultural training. In 1999, Vivian turned the leadership of BASIC over to one of his sons. Vivian recently launched a new organization (Churches Supporting Churches) in response to the help needed for the victims and churches affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Vivian lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Vivian was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2004.

See how Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C. T. Vivian interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C. T. Vivian's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C. T Vivian describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C. T. Vivian remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C. T. Vivian shares his ancestors' thoughts on education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C. T. Vivian shares family information
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C. T. Vivian recalls his childhood in Macomb, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C. T. Vivian describes his childhood in Macomb, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C. T. Vivian discusses his education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C. T. Vivian recounts episodes with his childhood friends
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C. T. Vivian describes the beginnings of his commitment to nonviolence
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C. T. Vivian recalls his early social life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C. T. Vivian describes his early career aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C. T. Vivian discusses his college years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C. T. Vivian discusses his early awareness of social inequities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C. T. Vivian discusses his college major
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C. T. Vivian describes his early career path
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C. T. Vivian details his call to the ministry while in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C. T. Vivian describes his early involvement with the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C. T. Vivian recalls the civil rights events that led up to the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C. T. Vivian details the activities in organizing the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C. T. Vivian tells of his role in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - C. T. Vivian talks about Bloody Sunday
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C. T. Vivian details the second attempt at the Selma to Montgomery march
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C. T. Vivian discusses his personal opinions about racism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C. T. Vivian recalls when he was attacked on the courthouse steps in Selma, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C. T. Vivian details more of the event on the courthouse steps in Selma, Alabama
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls confronting Sheriff Jim Clark at the Dallas County Courthouse in Selma, Alabama, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls confronting Sheriff Jim Clark at the Dallas County Courthouse in Selma, Alabama, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers being attacked by Sheriff Jim Clark, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers being attacked by Sheriff Jim Clark, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes the circumstances of his arrest
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about his early experiences of nonviolent action
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the NAACP's challenge to the Caterpillar Tractor Company
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers meeting Reverend James Bevel for the first time
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the dismissal of his case in Selma, Alabama, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the dismissal of his case in Selma, Alabama, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls preaching outside of Selma, Alabama
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers the killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the events leading up to the Selma to Montgomery March
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes the City of Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the arrest of Sheriff Jim Clark
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes the start of the Upward Bound program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes the start of the Upward Bound program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's decision to enter the ministry
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the Black Lives Matter movement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the effectiveness of nonviolent action
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the Black Lives Matter movement, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the National Council of Churches
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes the development of the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers his move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes his experiences in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes his experiences in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about J. Archie Hargraves
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls joining the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about recruiting black ministers to the Urban Training Center
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers well-known African American ministers in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about his early activism in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about his book, 'Black Power and the American Myth'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the rivalry between the Nashville News Star and the Nashville Globe
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls joining the Seminary Without Walls at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about Reverend Gardner Taylor, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about Reverend Gardner Taylor, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls the production of audiotapes at the Urban Training Center
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about his travels to Kenya
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian remembers founding the National Anti-Klan Network
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian recalls Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian describes his experiences as chairman Capitol City Bank and Trust Company in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian talks about the need for financial growth and development in the African American community
  • Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. C.T. Vivian reflects upon his legacy