MORDECAI WYATT JOHNSON

"Western civilization, Christianity, decency are struggling for their very lives. In this worldwide civil war, race prejudice is our most dangerous enemy, for it is a disease at the very root of our democratic life."

MORDECAI WYATT JOHNSON

Reverend Mordecai Wyatt Johnson was one of three leading African American preachers of the twentieth century. He served as the president of Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C., for 34 years, the first African American to hold that position. During his time at Howard, Reverend Wyatt propelled the university into national prominence, greatly increasing enrollment and opportunities for young African American students. One of his significant contributions was the development of the law school at Howard, which graduated leading civil rights attorneys.

 

Reverend Johnson traveled the country speaking against racism, segregation, and discrimination. He once spoke alongside Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and profoundly influenced Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolent resistance.

CENTERED ON CHRIST

Reverend Johnson, the son of former slaves, was a Christian pastor, following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a pastor. Reverend Johnson’s theology of nonviolence was based on Jesus’s teachings.

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