In 1967, Newcastle University gave Martin Luther King an honorary award for his incredible bravery. Now, 50 years later, the university have erected a statue in his honor. At its base, is engraved in bronze lettering a phrase from one of the civil rights icon’s speech: “There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face – poverty, war, racism.”
Ambassador Andrew Young, now 85, was a friend and colleague of the American civil rights leader. Young unveiled the statue, 50 years after he accompanied King to receive his honorary degree from the university on 13 November 1967.
Nigel Boonham, who sculpted the statue, told Chronicle Live he hoped the statue would “continue to warm the hearts of the students that study here and the visitors that pass through”.
50 years ago, when Martin Luther King received his honorary award he gave a memorable speech that still influences racial issues today.
“Dr Martin Luther King said yesterday that the world would never rise to full moral, political, or social maturity until racialism was fully eradicated. There was no separate path for white and black; they were caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,” reported The Guardian.
A new statue of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled at Newcastle University today to mark the 50th anniversary of his visit to accept an honorary degree https://t.co/3Y79wQiTGB @BU_Tweets @freedomcity2017
— Newcastle University (@UniofNewcastle) November 13, 2017
Dr Robert A Brown, president of Boston University, praised Newcastle University for honouring Martin Luther King, a man who was “the embodiment of courage and the embodiment of the New Testament teaching of forgiveness,” according to Chronicle Live.
Professor Eric Cross, dean of cultural affairs at Newcastle University, said before Monday’s ceremony: “This statue is a lasting tribute to the values that Dr King stood for and a unique record of one of the most significant moments in the university’s history.
“Sadly, the challenges of racism, poverty and war are still relevant to this day.
“Having a statue of such an inspirational figure as Dr King on our campus will remind all visitors to the university of our commitment to social justice and the need to keep Dr King’s legacy alive.”