The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Vincent Harding

Share on Social Media

Information about Vincent Harding

Profile image of Vincent Harding

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Theologian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
If You Know, You Owe.

Birthplace

Born:
7/25/1931
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Theologian

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados
Favorite Quote:
If You Know, You Owe.

Birthplace

Born:
7/25/1931
Birth Location:
New York
See how Vincent Harding is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Theologian, author, and civil rights activist Vincent Gordon Harding was born on July 25, 1931, in New York City. Harding’s mother grew up in Barbados before coming to New York City. As a child, Harding developed a strong relationship with the church as a member of the Victory Tabernacle Seventh Day Christian Church in Harlem.

As a student, Harding was interested in journalism. In 1948, he received his diploma from Morris High School in the Bronx and entered the City College of New York, where he became the first African American editor of the college’s newspaper. Harding received his B.A. degree in history from the City College of New York and continued his studies at Columbia University where he received his M.A. degree in journalism in 1953. That same year, Harding was drafted into the United States Army where he served at Fort Dicks in New Jersey. During that time, he became more drawn to the bible. Upon being discharged from the Army, Harding attended the University of Chicago where he received his PhD in the history of Christianity and became a lay pastor at a small church in Chicago.

During the 1960s, Harding was a civil rights activist with the Southern Freedom Movement. He was also a close associate and speechwriter for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Harding was the first director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He also taught at Spelman College. Serving as senior academic advisor, he has worked for film and television projects including the PBS television series Eyes on the Prize.

While a founder and co-chair of the Veterans of Hope Project, Harding produced videotapes that feature African Americans whose work personifies the ongoing struggle for human rights. In addition, he is the author of numerous essays and nine books, which include Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement in 1990; There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America in 1993; and Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero in 1995.

As Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, Harding continues to teach and serve as lecturer and advisor to churches, synagogues, schools, prisons and community groups.

Vincent Harding passed away on May 19, 2014.

See how Vincent Harding is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vincent Harding's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vincent Harding lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vincent Harding describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vincent Harding describes his mother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vincent Harding describes his mother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vincent Harding talks about being the only child of a single mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vincent Harding describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vincent Harding describes his mother's religious involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vincent Harding describes the Harlem neighborhood of New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vincent Harding recalls his activities at the Victory Tabernacle Seventh Day Christian Church in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vincent Harding describes the Victory Tabernacle Seventh Day Christian Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vincent Harding talks about his religious involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vincent Harding recalls his early interest in journalism, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vincent Harding recalls his early interest in journalism, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vincent Harding remembers his decision to study history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vincent Harding describes his aspirations after graduating college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vincent Harding remembers the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vincent Harding remembers serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vincent Harding recalls his spiritual awakening in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vincent Harding remembers his aspiration to become a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vincent Harding describes his early education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vincent Harding recalls his junior high school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vincent Harding remembers Morris High School in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vincent Harding describes his teachers at Morris High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vincent Harding remembers his advisor at Morris High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vincent Harding recalls a lesson from his teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vincent Harding remembers working on the Morris Piper newspaper
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vincent Harding describes his decision to pursue teaching
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vincent Harding remembers pastoring a church in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vincent Harding recalls studying the history of Christianity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vincent Harding remembers writing sermons
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vincent Harding recalls graduating from the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vincent Harding talks about Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vincent Harding recalls his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vincent Harding remembers his activism in the South
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vincent Harding remembers his mother's occupation as a domestic worker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vincent Harding remembers his mother and uncle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vincent Harding describes his wife's family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vincent Harding reflects upon his experiences in the South
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vincent Harding reflects upon his role in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vincent Harding recalls the history department at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vincent Harding recalls the unrest after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death