…that you are finishing college in a most ghastly period of human history. They would contend that the rhythmic beat of the deep rumblings of discontent from Asia, the uprisings in Africa, the social and political crisis facing France… and the racial tensions of America…are all indicative of the deep and desolate midnight, which encompasses our civilization.
They would say to you that we are moving backwards instead of forward; that we are retrogressing instead of progressing. But far from representing retrogression and tragic meaninglessness, the present tensions represent the usual pains that accompany the birth of anything new. They seem to be both historically and biologically true; that there can be no birth and growth without birth and growing pains.– MLK, 1958 Commencement Address, Morgan St College