Civil Rights in Columbia

January 23, 2014

Civil rights leader to place papers at Emory

Civil rights leader Rev. C.T. Vivian will place some of his and his late wife’s papers in the school’s library, Emory University officials announced this week.

Civil rights leader Rev. C.T. Vivian will place some of his and his late wife’s papers in the school’s library, Emory University officials announced this week.

Vivian worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His wife, Octavia Geans Vivian, supported her husband’s work with that organization, and was also involved in the local civil rights movement.

Octavia Vivian wrote “Coretta,” a biography of King’s wife, which was originally published in 1970 and was revised with additional material in 2006 after Coretta Scott King’s death.

The Vivians’ papers include binders of notes and articles about civil rights activities and issues, as well as notes and outlines for speeches.

It is one of the most noteworthy additions to civil rights material being housed at the university. And the school’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library director Rosemary Magee said in a statement that the documents also “further establishes Emory as a place that recognizes the history of our own era, and helps us understand how we arrived where we are today and projects these values into the future.”

President Barack Obama presented C.T. Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in November.

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