History of the Series
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Lectures were established at Vanderbilt University in 1985 as a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his significant contribution to Civil Rights. Held each January, the lectures are designed to educate the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities about Dr. King’s achievements. The Series stand as a symbolic affirmation of the University’s commitment to the cause of racial justice served by Dr. King.
The lectures focus on Dr. King’s influence on our history and lives today and on broader social and scholarly subjects directly related to Dr. King and the Movement he led. The religious heritage of Dr. King and the artistic and literary treatment of the movement are also important themes in many of the lectures. Noted scholars, political, civil rights and religious leaders, entertainers and artists and “survivors”–those who knew and worked with King–are included in the Series.