Vincent Harding
(1932 — 2014)

Remembering Historian Vincent Harding, Democracy Now!


As remembered by Constance Curry
May 20, 2014

I first met Vincent Harding in 1960 when he and his wife Rosemarie came to Atlanta, led at Mennonite house and was a close friend and advisor to SNCC.

We remained friends over all of these years as they developed the brilliant project of Veterans of Hope, to capture maybe hundreds of civil rights leaders on tape and to store them at Illifff School Of Theology, in Denver, where he also was teaching. He was so helpful in staying in contact with Jamil Al-Amin and the terrible conditions Jamil faced in solitary confinement at the Federal Prison in Florence, Co.

After Rosemarie's passing, I was happy when Vincent and Aljosie Knight were married, and although I could not attend their wedding, we stayed in touch and did have dinner with them a few years back. I will always remember Vincent because he never failed in lifting my spirits, listening and laughing and my stupid jokes and keeping in my mind and heart what he wrote me many years ago — that I was a lot like Ella Baker. I will miss him so.

Connie Curry


As remembered by Sheila Michaels
May 20, 2014

He saw things so clearly & with such love. He was not in for the short haul, and he managed to relax & comfort you & ground you for the struggle ahead, no matter how tightly wound you had become. He and Rosemarie were pacifists so grounded in love.

S h e i l a


As remembered by Joyce Ladner
May 21, 2014

Vincent Harding was a part of my life for over half a century. We met in the movement but came to know each other when he invited me to Spelman College in 1968 to interview for a faculty position. I didn't take that job but a year later I did join him and other scholars including Lerone Bennett, Sterling Stuckey, Steve Henderson, Chester "Chet" Davis and Bill Strickland as Senior Fellows at the new and bodacious Institute of the Black World.

Vincent was more than our Director. He was a force of nature. His prodigious intellect and his deep, deep spiritual grounding were the foundation for this new all-black think tank that resonated with the times. It was a fertile environment for scholar-activists whose grounding was in the civl rights movement. We were on the cutting edge of history as we organized Black Studies conferences where the poet Margaret Walker Alexander and the pioneering sociologist Horace Cayton, Walter Rodney and C.L.R. James and so many more held forth. We taught courses for students at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges and Wesleyan University. Our headquarters, a modest brick house on Beckwith Street, was the hub for visitors from across the country who wanted to be a part of this grand experiment. His first book titled "There is a River" was written at IBW.

All the while, Vincent and his wife Rosemarie opened the doors of their nearby home to us as we watched their two chidden — Rachel and Jonathan — group up. Vincent mentored at least two generations of young scholar-activists who will carry on his work. May he rest in peace and may his wife, Aljosie, as well as Rachel and Jonathan be comforted in know how much he was loved and respected.

Joyce Ladner

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