I was privileged to honor ‘pro bono publico’ on behalf of all of the ‘amici’ in support of MIT’s position. As MIT stood firm in its resolve to aid needy students, as it refused to be intimidated by the awesome power of the federal government, you were implementing the core of Martin luther King’s dream.

A. LEON HIGGINBOTHAM, Court Judge - on the 1991 civil antitrust lawsuit filed against MIT and the Ivy Leagues

1975-1994   Reflections of the Dream


The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.
From Stride Towards Freedom, 1958


Reflections of the Dream, 1975-1994: Twenty-One Years Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

Edited by Clarence G. Williams
MIT Press, 1996

Bringing together speeches given at the Institute's annual King Day convocation, this book celebrates two decades of commitment by MIT to honoring the honoring the memory and furthering the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. In reading these speeches, one catches in reflection twenty years of turmoil and change, some positive (including an increasing number of speakers drawn from the ranks of MIT's African American alumni/ae) but much negative, in which Dr King's dream has been a continuing beacon for action. Speakers have included leaders who are prominent both nationally and in the local (Boston/Cambridge) community, in accordance with Dr. King’s dual emphasis on global and local issues. The book closes with Coretta Scott King’s twentieth-anniversary address in 1994.


[view Table of Contents as PDF ]

The Movement for Economic and Social Justice: 1994 and Beyond
Coretta Scott King

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
William H. Gray III

The Dream and Reality: Closing the Gap
Margaret A. Burnham

Linking the Civil Rights Movement to MIT and Dr. King's Dream: Reality-- Closing the Gap
Benjamin L. Hooks

The Dream and Hope, the Nightmare of Reality: Closing the Gap for Our Youth
Nikki Giovanni

On Behalf of Justice
Gregory C. Chisholm, S.J.

From Dreams to Reality
Elizabeth B. Rawlins

Introspection, Outreach and Inclusion: Achieving Pluralism at MIT
Samuel D. Proctor

Living the Dream: To Believe and Achieve
Shirley Ann Jackson

The Unfinished Agenda of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Context of the Eighties
John H. Adams
Julius L. Chambers
Leo Marx
Michael R. Winston

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Path to Human Dignity and Freedom
John R. Bryant
Helen G. Edmonds ​

Rekindling the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Time of Retrenchment
Price M. Cobb
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the New Movement for Justice
Charles S. Brown

King: What Progress Since the Dream?
LeRoy Attles
Samuel D. Proctor

Do You Remember?
Anthony C. Campbell

The Dream: When Will We Overcome?
Melvin G. Brown

Keeping the Dream Alive
Jerome H. Holland

The Dream: Education is Freedom
Muriel S. Snowden

Reflection of the Dream : Past, Present and Future
Walter J. Leonard

Martin Luther King, Jr., what Does He Mean to Me?
Hubert. E Jones

Clarence G. Williams

clarence-williamsClarence G. Williams is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies & Planning Emeritus and former Special Assistant to the President at MIT. He joined the administration in 1972 as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and was named Special Assistant to the President and Chancellor for Minority Affairs in 1974. Dr. Williams was instrumental in helping to establish MIT's annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the designation of Martin Luther King Day as an Institute holiday.

From 1980-1982, he served as Acting Director of the Office of Minority Education, and from 1984-1997, he assumed additional responsibilities as Assistant Equal Opportunity Officer, along with a broader scope of the Special Assistant position, to serve the MIT community as an ombudsperson. From 1992 until his status changed to emeritus in 2004, he taught race relations and diversity courses in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Dr. Williams continues to help pave the way for achievement of many black students, faculty, and staff at MIT.

He is currently the founding director of the Blacks at MIT History Project. Sponsored by the MIT Office of the Provost, the project is a multimedia initiative to research, identify, and produce scholarly curatorial content on the black experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since its founding in 1861.

Dr. Williams is the editor of Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941-1999 (MIT Press, 2001) and Reflections of the Dream, 1975-1994: Twenty-One Years of Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Press, 1996).

MIT News Office

Press to issue King book

March 6, 1996

A new book, to be published by MIT Press in mid-March, commemorates two decades of MIT's annual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Reflections of the Dream, 1975-1994: Twenty Years Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been edited by Dr. Clarence G. Williams, special assistant to the president of MIT, ombudsperson and adjunct professor of urban studies. Dr. Williams has played a major role in the annual events honoring Dr. King as a long-time member of the Planning Committee for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Activities.

The book presents the words of the keynote speakers at the MLK celebration, concluding with the remarks of Coretta Scott King, delivered on the 20th anniversary of the observance in 1994. The 1995 speech by A. Leon Higginbotham is included as an appendix.