Original Civil Rights Movement Member Shares Memories of MLK

News at College of DuPage

By Brian KleemannRetired College of DuPage administrator Ernie Gibson, Ph.D., shares remembrances of
his friend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during a recent program marking the
50th anniversary of his assassination.“Being around Dr. King, I learned the spirit of love and the need for forgiveness,”
Gibson said. “You couldn’t be afraid.”Click here for more photos and click here to watch the presentation “Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Legacy Continues.”Gibson graduated from Tuskegee University and began his career as an instructor at
his alma mater. He went on to serve as director of the student union and associate
director for student life at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. In 1966, Gibson
was the first African American hired by the newly chartered College of DuPage, serving
first as director of campus life and retiring as executive director of business services
in 1994. The COD cafeteria is named in his honor.During the recent presentation, moderated by Sam Mitrani, Ph.D., Associate Professor
of History at College of DuPage, Gibson shared stories about his friendship with Dr.
King, with whom he worked to plan the Montgomery and Birmingham campaigns, the Selma
March, and the March on Washington.“I talked with him the week before he was assassinated,” Gibson said. “He wanted to
go to Long Island, an island in the Bahamas, and mobilize people from Haiti, Jamaica
and the Bahamas in order to continue his message about nonviolence, brotherhood and
respect.”

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