At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom
Dr. Robert L. Green
Tuesday, January 19 - 7:00 pm
401 S. Capitol Ave.
The Historical Society of Greater Lansing is hosting Dr. Robert L. Green, a civil rights activist and friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, 7:00 pm, Tuesday, January 19 at the downtown branch of the Capital Area District Library for a discussion and book signing of his new book, At the Crossroads of Fear and Freedom." The event is free and open to the public.
Green, while completing his PhD at Michigan State University, not only worked locally to assure open housing in East Lansing, but was recruited by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 to serve as the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
In the role he advocated for educational equity and led the crucial 1966 March Against Fear which, despite Ku Klux Klan threats and attacks by southern state troopers, advanced Civil Rights legislation.
At the book release, Green will not only describe the time he spent with King, but also will provide his views on relationships with MSU President John Hannah, Walter Adams, and Clifton Wharton.
In the 1970s, Green would become the first Dean of the newly formed College of Urban Development at MSU. He later became an expert implementing court-ordered desegregation for previously segregated school districts. He continues the role of education consultant from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, and, in 2012, he participated in President Obama's education summit.
Valerie Marvin, President of the Historical Society, said his memoir is a virtual who's who of the Civil Rights Movement in this country, as well as internationally.
"In addition to being on the front line of momentous change, Green also advanced the use of persons of color in textbooks which until the 1960s showed only white faces," she said. "He changed how children see history."
"His passionate dedication to Civil Rights has touched so many people's lives and the Historical Society is proud to be a part of the launch of this important book," Marvin said.
"If you ever doubt the impact one person can have you much read this book."
Marin said that although Green was already active in social justice concerns and knew Martin Luther King prior to King's visit to MSU's campus in 1965 it was there that King turned to Green and said, "Brother Green, you ought to join us in the struggle."
Former Mayor David Hollister, a friend of Green and himself an activist in the 1960s Civil Rights battles will welcome Green.
Books will be available for purchase at the event.