Tobin Miller Shearer is associate professor of history and director of the African-American Studies Program at the University of Montana. He has written widely on religion, race, and Mennonites in the civil rights movement; his most recent book is Two Weeks Every Summer: Fresh Air Children and the Problem of Race in America (Cornell University Press, 2017).

Vincent Harding said little when I called him in 1992. He did not want to talk about a trip he took with four other Mennonites to the South in early 1959, the very occasion of his first encounter with Martin Luther King, Jr. The fact that I was writing a book in which I hoped to feature his contributions to the Mennonite community did not impress him. We spoke for less than 20 minutes. Although he was gracious and gentle throughout our conversation, it was the shortest interview I conducted for the book. When I requested a second interview more than 15 years later, he again expressed no interest in revisiting his history with the Mennonites.

Vincent Harding seemed uneasy about his Mennonite past. I can understand why. Read the full story at this link.

Find more Writing about and by Vincent Harding at this link.