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Clayborne Carson

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Born June 15, 1944, in Buffalo, New York, Clayborne Carson grew up near Los Alamos, New Mexico. There his family was one of only a few black families in the area. Because he was part of such a minority, Clayborne grew curious about the black world, and when the Civil Rights movement began, he was fascinated with it.

At 19 years of age, while attending a year of school at the University of New Mexico, Clayborne participated in the historic March on Washington in 1963. What impacted him most about the experience, he relates, was not the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but the people he met there. He participated in other civil rights and anti-war protests as an undergraduate, and many of his later writings reflect those experiences, describing the importance of grassroots political activity especially within the African-American struggle for freedom and equality.

Clayborne Carson went on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree, all from the University of California at Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with his doctorate in 1975 and immediately began teaching history at Stanford University. In 1985 he was approached by Coretta Scott King, who invited him to direct a long-term project to edit and publish Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Dr. Carson began the King Papers Project, which has produced seven volumes. Twenty years later, in 2005, Dr. Carson also founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to support the work of the King Papers Project. He has been named the Ronnie Lott Founding Director of that Institute.

Dr. Clayborne Carson is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History at Stanford University and serves as a member of the global council of the California International Law Center. He has lectured in Britain, France, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania about Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as other figures and movements relating to the black struggle. He has also appeared on several radio, television, and news programs.

Clayborne Carson married Susan Ann Carson, who was the managing editor of the King Papers Project. The Carsons have two children, a son and a daughter, and are now proud grandparents as well. They live in Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Carson has dedicated his life and work to preserving the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His insight, born of years of study, and his passion for civil and human rights, both in history and the modern world, are evident in the forum address he gave at Brigham Young University.

Born June 15, 1944, in Buffalo, New York, Clayborne Carson grew up near Los Alamos, New Mexico. There his family was one of only a few black families in the area. Because he was part of such a minority, Clayborne grew curious about the black world, and when the Civil Rights movement began, he was fascinated with it.

At 19 years of age, while attending a year of school at the University of New Mexico, Clayborne participated in the historic March on Washington in 1963. What impacted him most about the experience, he relates, was not the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but the people he met there. He participated in other civil rights and anti-war protests as an undergraduate, and many of his later writings reflect those experiences, describing the importance of grassroots political activity especially within the African-American struggle for freedom and equality.

Clayborne Carson went on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree, all from the University of California at Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with his doctorate in 1975 and immediately began teaching history at Stanford University. In 1985 he was approached by Coretta Scott King, who invited him to direct a long-term project to edit and publish Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Dr. Carson began the King Papers Project, which has produced seven volumes. Twenty years later, in 2005, Dr. Carson also founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to support the work of the King Papers Project. He has been named the Ronnie Lott Founding Director of that Institute.

Dr. Clayborne Carson is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History at Stanford University and serves as a member of the global council of the California International Law Center. He has lectured in Britain, France, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania about Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as other figures and movements relating to the black struggle. He has also appeared on several radio, television, and news programs.

Clayborne Carson married Susan Ann Carson, who was the managing editor of the King Papers Project. The Carsons have two children, a son and a daughter, and are now proud grandparents as well. They live in Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Carson has dedicated his life and work to preserving the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. His insight, born of years of study, and his passion for civil and human rights, both in history and the modern world, are evident in the forum address he gave at Brigham Young University.