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King First Heard One Of His Favorite Hymns In Denver
If you’ve seen the movie “Selma,” you know that one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s favorite gospel songs was “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Thomas A. Dorsey. The late Mahalia Jackson sang it at King’s funeral in Atlanta in 1968. But among the other hymns performed that day at Ebenezer Baptist Church was one that King first heard in Denver in 1956.
“If I Can Help Somebody” was written in 1945 by a woman named Alma Androzzo, and it was recorded by various gospel groups, even by mainstream singers like Tennessee Ernie Ford and Doris Day. Listen to the story about how King didn’t hear it until his visit to Denver.
The Late Rosemarie Harding’s 'Remnants'
Whether meeting the Dalai Lama or convincing a plantation owner in early 1960s Mississippi to talk about race, late Denver teacher and social worker Rosemarie Freeney Harding possessed the power of persuasion. She recounts those stories and many more from her life on the front lines of the civil rights movement in her memoir, "Remnants," which has been released posthumously.
Her daughter, Rachel Harding, a CU Denver assistant professor of indigenous spiritual traditions, has worked since her mother's death in 2004 to gather Rosemarie Harding's "long, sweet flashes of brilliance" in the book. She spoke about the book, and her late mother, with Ryan Warner.
The Accidental Wheelman Of Martin Luther King Jr.
In the mid-1960s, Tom Houck left high school to join the civil rights movement. After meeting Martin Luther King Jr. at an event, Houck decided to volunteer for King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. So, he made his way to Atlanta.
"I was standing outside waiting for somebody to come pick me up," Houck says, remembering the day he arrived in Atlanta. "All of a sudden, Dr. King drove down the street. He said, 'Tom, you're here.' "
As Houck recalled for StoryCorps, broadcast on NPR, the reverend was with his wife, Coretta Scott King, who promptly invited him back to their house for lunch. Thus began a unique relationship: Houck became King’s driver. Read more and listen to the story here.