By AMBER AINSWORTH, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, January 11, an alumnus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn came to speak on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Adam Harris spent his undergraduate years studying at Dearborn.
A few weeks ago, Harris saw a picture on Facebook that was mocking Dr. King. The photo had Dr. King’s face cropped onto a body that Harris described as being a “thug”. The image disturbed Harris and spurred him to spread his message on the legacy of MLK Jr.
In his efforts, Harris has given presentations at his old middle and high schools, a church, Oakland University, and, most recently, UM-Dearborn.
“In the Eye of the Storm: The Man. The Life. The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” aims to keep King’s dream alive, while encouraging others to follow their own dreams. Doing so is actually a large part of Harris’ life, as he mentors young men. His work shows too, as in the past year, the men he mentors have had a 100 percent retention rate, as well as 100 percent entering college and receiving scholarships.
Harris really knew his calling while taking an African American history class here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. His professor Dr. House even spoke on young Adam Harris and her recollection of his realization. While studying a piece written in 1838, Harris’ face lit up. It was from that point on things really made sense to him.
The presentation shared facts about King’s life and the man he was. For instance, he had his PhD by the age of twenty-seven. He also was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was a man that knew his calling and he took up his cross. Harris knows the importance of taking up your own cross, regardless of the struggles it may present.
Martin Luther King Jr. was not only “Dr. King”, he was a preacher whose soul propelled him through the movement. King was able to turn his fear into faith, an ability that changed not only his life, but also the lives of all American citizens. Dr. King looked his difficulties in the eye and took them head on, a fact that must never be forgotten.
The talk focused heavily on the notion of working towards your goals. Along with speaking of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harris shared personal stories of how he has learned from Dr. King and applied that to his own life. Harris has published a book and is currently working on the second.
In his first book he even wrote a poem that was inspired by Dr. King. One of the lines in the poem states that, “each step is worth the journey.” Harris detailed how each step of his life has helped create the man he is today. Overall, the night was entirely inspiring and encouraging.
Just before the end of the event, Harris presented Dr. Gloria House, a professor at UM-Dearborn, a present for her nearing retirement, as well as a thank you for all she has done to help him grow and find himself.
Adam Harris concluded his presentation by leaving the audience with some keys to success: ask for help when you need it, make connections while sharing your dreams, hopes, and aspirations with others. Harris also noted one key fact, “you can write your own story.”