Dr. Harding was not only my professor history while a student at Spelman College he was my life coach. And to this very day he has remained my mentor and guiding star. Under his watchful and deliberate guidance he forced us all to think large, to seek truth and not be afraid of it when we find it- to conduct ourselves as agents of change.In the sixties during his work first at the Martin Luther King Center for Social Change and then at the Instituteof the Black world, he brought young and old people together,students, historians, poets, and political scientists from all over the world so that we would know to appreciate our history, but also to brainstorm, create new directions, and learn to live purposeful lives. It was he who,when invited to speak to a group of education majors, came to the University of Georgia and , in a week of lectures, redirected the focus of the socialogy department, changed the entire thought pattern of a group of young idealists, helping all to view the world more clearly-without blinders. We all left that institution armed with much much more than a Master's in Education. Some time after, before graduation, It was he who pulled me aside and said I should start a school in Atlanta (and I did The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community School)-one that united teachers, parents and community to better serve the children-one that grounded black children in their culture and send them off in the world with vision and love of self and commitment to each other. His passing "mak me eye for dreen" (made me cry) as we say in Gullah, for the selfish lack I feel that he in no longer of this world. I am left with these words from Paul Lawrence Dunbar (paraphrased) "Who shall come after thee out of the clay, o" learned one to show us the way? Who shall pass the test? Think thou no more of this. Rest."
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