Professor, writer, and civil rights activist Cornel West was born on June 2, 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Sacramento. He graduated from Harvard University in 1973 with an M.A. and later taught African-American studies there. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Haverford College, and Princeton University, the latter as professor of religion and director of African-American studies. West earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1980. He has written more than twenty books, including Race Matters and Restoring Hope: Conversations on the Future of Black America.
Civil rights activist Vincent Harding was a friend and colleague of King and worked with Coretta Scott King to establish the King Center in Atlanta, serving as its first director. A distinguished theologian and historian, he is the award-winning author of several books and lives in Denver, Colorado.