David Kirk
(1935 — 2007)

One of the righteous Southerners.

Born 1935 in Louisville, Mississippi, he grew up as the son of a dirt farmer. When he was a child, a white mob shot & killed a local black over a stolen chicken — an experience that never left his memory.

As editor of his high school newspaper in Mobile, Alabama, he spent several weeks attending the local black high school to investigate first hand the inequities of segregation. In 1956, his junior year at Univ of Alabama, during Autherine Lucy's attempt to integrate, he joined with others to shield her as she moved around campus.

After becoming a priest, he went to Birmingham in 1963, was jailed with M.L. King Jr & preached at 16th St Baptist Church one week before 4 girls were killed in the KKK bombing.

He then moved to Harlem,New York City, & in 1965 opened Emmaus House on W. 120th St, a community of the poor living & working together to help those in need. For about 40 years, Emmaus has been an active center of social justice advocacy including housing, legal services, & AIDS assistance.

Father David died at Emmaus House in May 2007.

June 27, 2007

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