UofL law school to unveil photos from Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 visit
After years of digging through photographic archives, the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law is ready to unveil photos taken nearly 50 years ago when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in the school’s Allen Court Room.
Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in the Allen Court Room in 1967. Photo courtesy of Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville.
“We found photos that we didn’t even know existed,” said Robin Harris, who chairs the law school’s diversity committee and is a professor of legal bibliography. “Two of the photos show Mrs. King and another shows a close up of Dr. King—which is fairly rare.”
A dozen photos will be shown at a free, public event Feb. 28. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. and is part of the law school’s Graduates of Color reunion and celebration of Black History Month.
Law school Dean Susan Duncan said the photos of King standing at a podium in the courtroom gave her chills.
“It’s gratifying to know that King spoke here,” said Duncan. “Because—even 50 years ago—this university was a trailblazer in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness.”
Harris said the project was a collaborative effort between the law school and UofL Archives and Special Collections. Five of the photos will be permanently displayed in the courtroom’s entrance along with a bronze plaque that commemorates King’s visit.
King spoke at the school March 30, 1967, after law student Steve Porter invited him. Porter—now a graduate of the law school—will speak at the February event along with fellow UofL alumnus Andrew Williams and recently retired law professor David Leibson. Porter and Leibson were in the courtroom during King’s visit and Williams was one of dozens of students who squeezed around the courtroom’s windows hoping to glimpse the civil rights leader.
All three will share their thoughts and memories about King’s visit during the event.