Minister, writer, educator, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman (1899-1981) was born on this day in Daytona Beach, Florida. Raised by his grandmother, a former slave, Thurman said she taught him "enormous respect for the magic...in knowledge."
Dean of Boston University's Marsh Chapel and the founder of one of the earliest integrated churches, Thurman became a pioneer in interpreting Negro spirituals. His theology celebrated activism rooted in strength, diginity, and peace. He once said: "Follow the grain in your own wood."
His 1936 meeting with Mahatma Gandhi and best known work, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), laid the foundation for the nonviolent civil rights movement. "A dream is the bearer of a new possibility, the enlarged horizon, the great hope," Thurman said.
A mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., Arthur Ashe, Maya Angelou, and many others, Thurman was considered one of the greatest preachers of the twentieth century.
"Life abounds in all variety of resources and resourcefulness. Every moment is a divine encounter, every facet is an exposure to the boundless energies by which life is sustained and our spirits made whole," he said.
Listen to your heart. Pull your OWN strings.