On Thursday, August 16, 2018, the Hutchins Center for African American Research hosted the 2018 Hutchins Forum: ‘A Single Garment of Destiny – MLK’s Dream in the Age of Trump,’ the annual event was held at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Opening remarks were made by AAAS Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and although there was not a shortage of topics for the panelist to discuss, Gates took time to pay homage to Aretha Franklin, whose death was reported earlier that day. Gates requested a moment of silence in her honor, in which the church obliged and immediately afterwards there was a spontaneous standing ovation for the dearly departed Queen of Soul.
There were additional AAAS Professors in attendance which included Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham and Professor Marcyliena Morgan. Additional remarks were made by AAAS Chair and Professor Lawrence D. Bobo who stated, “The moment is nigh…November is coming. And if morally-minded Americans don’t ‘jump to it,’ as Aretha might have told you to, we’re all gonna be in trouble and the people doing the ‘chain, chain, chain’ with Donald Trump are going to continue to carry the day. So be ready in November.”
A video of the event can be found here as it was recorded by PBS, and an article entitled, “Spirit of Aretha Franklin Fuels Hutchins Forum,” which also covered the event was published in The Vineyard Gazette can be found here.