Juan Williams: History Changes as People Change
- February 3rd, 2015
- in News
By Jessie Hancock
CCBP Graduate Student
On Friday January 16, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams delivered the annual Legacy Banquet lecture at the Hotel Capstone as part of the 26th annual Realizing the Dream celebration. Over 200 guests attended to hear Williams’ speech and witness the Annual Realizing the Dream Legacy Awards.
Williams is a Panamanian-born American journalist whose career spreads across many platforms, including 23 years with The Washington Post before joining Fox News in 1997. He is the author of the non-fiction bestseller, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965,” which is currently celebrating its 25th print anniversary.
Williams’ lecture focused on the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind, and on what Williams has learned from being the author of a book about the Civil Rights era.
“What I have learned from the experience of being the author of that book is that history changes as people change,” Williams said. “Because people use history’s inspiration, but they also use it to define themselves. They take identity from what took place in the past and of course, history is the basis of memory and tradition. Even for me, as the author, the history never sits still.”
Three individuals were honored with Legacy awards at the banquet. Artist and activist Dr. Arthur L. Bacon, a Talladega College professor emeritus of the natural sciences and humanities, received the Mountaintop Award. Ken W. Swindle, chief investigator for Prince, Glover, and Hayes Law Firm and a former Tuscaloosa Police Department chief, received the Call to Conscience Award. The Horizon Award was presented to UA student Tyler Merriweather, a junior in elementary education and a staff member at the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama, Inc.
This was the Tuscaloosa area’s 26th annual celebration in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Williams appropriately concluded his lecture by referring to King’s key legacy, that of nonviolence.
Williams said: “When you talk about a principle like nonviolence, you’re not saying that you’re automatically going to change the person who’s hateful, the person who’s racist, the person who is contemptuous of you. No, what we’re talking about, first and foremost, is that you will be changed. That you will have a greater sense of dignity and purpose, and a sense of your own power to control your life because you choose a path of nonviolence and Christian conscience. That gives you power. And then, with that example in front of you, you hope that others might be moved and see that their lives too can be transformed.”