"In a time when relations between blacks and whites seem at best a minuet in a minefield, Vincent Harding's book "Hope and History" passionately reminds us that our heritage of racial agony also provided this country's greatest gift to democracy: the post-World War II African-American freedom movement. Mr. Harding's collection of essays about the meaning of that movement -- a sweep encompassing, to his mind, the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott, the evolution of black studies and grass-roots black politics -- is a charge to the teachers of America to reconstruct its goals, methods and soul for the latest heirs of our racial malaise."---Diane McWhorter, The New York Times
"Each of Harding’s essays overflows with parental warmth and quiet optimism, while acknowledging that the struggle for freedom and democracy in the United States and the rest of the world is far from over. Harding is a big-hearted man with great faith in humanity. Hope and History is his own modest, thoughtful charge to his sisters and brothers of all races to carry on the movement."--- Lincoln Alpern, Friends Journal
Hope and History is an eloquent, informed, and impassioned call to remember and to share the story of "the civil rights movement" in America's twentieth century. Drawing upon his extensive experience as a participant-historian, Harding focuses on the profound significance of the freedom struggle for our lives as citizens today. In this new edition, he reflects on the election of President Barack Obama, drawing connections between his accomplishment and the broad history that lay behind it. That great struggle for freedom and transformation emerges as a continuing human movement whose liberating lessons are available to all.
Vincent Harding (1932-2014) was emeritus Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado. Formally director of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center, and chairman of the nationally televised Black Heritage series, he served as senior advisor to the acclaimed PBS television series, "Eyes on the Prize."