Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Kelso Lecture in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

David J. Garrow, research professor of history and law at the University of Pittsburgh will present the annual Kelso Lecture in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Garrow will speak on the theme of "The Political Evolution of MLK." It is important, especially on each annual occasion of the MLK Holiday, for everyone to appreciate just how hugely Dr. King's political views evolved between 1955 and 1968, and most especially how they evolved during the last five years of his life. Anyone whose impression of Dr. King's beliefs is centered upon his August 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech at the March on Washington needs to realize how within two years of that uplifting and encouraging event, Dr. King began to feel increasingly pessimistic about both America's behavior in the world and the prospects for any further social justice progress on the U.S. domestic scene.

The Kelso Lecture is a celebration of Dr. King's accomplishments and hopes for the future. The event is held in cooperation with the East End Cooperative Ministry and is free and open to the public.

Date and Time

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, 3:30 p.m.


This year's program will be held at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the Hicks Chapel. The co-sponsoring congregation for the event is Morningside Church of God in Christ. Directions to the Seminary are available at www.pts.edu/directions. Free parking is available on the Seminary campus.


David J.Garrow is professor of law and history and distinguished faculty scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Garrow was senior research fellow at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Garrow is the author of Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade, a comprehensive history of the American reproductive rights struggle. His previous book, Bearing the Cross:Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the seventh annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Garrow is also the author of The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Protest at Selma, as well as editor of The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson. He is co-editor of The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox: A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR’s Washington and of The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader. He served as a senior advisor for “Eyes on the Prize,” the award-winning PBS television history of the American Black freedom struggle, and as editorial advisor for the Library of America’s two-volume Reporting Civil Rights (2003). He regularly contributes to the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the American Prospect, and in recent years his essays and articles also have appeared in The New Republic, the Wilson Quarterly, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Review of Books, Newsweek, and The Nation. His academic writings have been published in the Supreme Court Review, the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary. Garrow has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the City University of New York, The Cooper Union, the College of William and Mary, American University, and Emory University. Garrow graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University and received his Ph.D. from Duke University.