Photo credits: Boston University Photo Services
Howard Thurman (pictured) was a Black American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader.
As a prominent religious figure, Thurman played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century. His theological message of radical nonviolence influenced and shaped a generation of civil rights activists.
Thurman was born on November 18, 1899 in the U.S. city of Daytona Beach, Florida. Thurman was a key mentor to leaders within the civil rights movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His academic excellence, values, and hard work made him a beacon light to younger leaders like Dr. King and others.
Thurman served as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University from 1932 to 1944 and as dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University from 1953 to 1965. In 1944, he co-founded, along with Alfred Fisk, the first major interracial, interdenominational church in the United States.
Howard Thurman died on April 10, 1981 in San Francisco, California.
*BlackThen.com writer and historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.