For Immediate Release
February 6, 2013
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BROCKPORT, NY— In 1966, Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, PhD, met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago, a meeting that changed McMickle’s life by pushing him into a life of the church and activism. McMickle was at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, last night for the College’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial lecture Series, and approximately 200 people heard McMickle take the opportunity to “not only remember an important person, but recall an historic struggle.”
McMickle discussed the ways (smothering poverty, political powerlessness, force and intimidation) African-Americans have been marginalized throughout the history of the United States. At one point he quoted King, “Either we are all Americans together, or America has not reached its potential.”
In addition to King, throughout his talk McMickle referenced important Civil Rights names such as Rosa Parks, Adam Clayton Powell, and Emmitt Till. He also told the story of an ancestor of his who was murdered in Kentucky in 1930 simply because he wanted to register to vote.
The idea of standing up against tyranny and terror was spread throughout McMickle’s talk. “Think of all the people in history who in a struggle for freedom and opportunity make the country and world a better place.”
McMickle reminded the audience that the day before (February 4) was the 100th birthday of Parks. Remembering Parks, McMickle said, “When she sat down, Martin King and a whole host of others stood up.”
McMickle acknowledged that King’s largely peaceful message was in some way a safer option for America. “Would we have listened as intently to Martin King if we were not terrified by Malcolm X?” he asked.
Born in Chicago, IL, in 1948, McMickle’s academic accolades include a Doctor of Divinity from Aurora University; a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, from which he received the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award; a PhD from Case Western Reserve University; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Payne Theological Seminary.
McMickle served as the senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH, from 1987 to 2011. He led the church in establishing a ministry for people affected by HIV/AIDS — the first of its kind in the country. Under his leadership, the church also offered job training, a hunger center, three AA units, a credit union with over $2 million in assets, and a program through which the congregation tithed out 10 percent of its annual income to the community.
In 2011, McMickle was elected president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. He is a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and he has authored 14 books and dozens of articles that regularly appear in professional journals and magazines.
McMickle’s talk was sponsored by Brockport’s Department of African and African-American Studies, Brockport Student Government, and the Diversity Committee. Past speakers in the lecture series, which began in 1985, include poet Maya Angelou, and King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu