• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 15 comments on Who Was Howard Thurman?

  1. In reading your article on Howard Thurman, based on his views and teaching about the human spirit and community, I believe he would not agree with the views of Raul Fernandez and the approach to the human community today through divisive terms like equity, diversity and inclusion.

    We should not be defining the community we live in today by focusing on racial or gender divides but by all of us achieving internal spiritual happiness, respecting each other and making that part of our everyday life in the world.

    1. My heart and head align with your words. Thank you, they strengthen my resolve to resist the spirit of 21st Centurty segregation based on “identity”.

  2. I remember Howard Thurman in a Boston University School of Theology class on preaching describing the death of his follow, preparation of the body in their home. To be in Dr. Thurman’s presence that day was one of the most memorable experiences of my three years at BUST.

  3. I recall Dean Thurmond from my years as undergraduate at BU CLA. It was new and exciting to me, a New Englander, to find such a majestic and spiritual presence at the college. Though I cannot express my admiration in monetary fashion, being retired and on low fixed income, I want you to know some graduates still remember him and have always been proud to say so.

  4. I grew up hearing a story from my father, Rev. Dr. Echol L. Nix, Sr. about him driving Dr. Howard Thurman to the airport after Thurman preached a Vesper service at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), where my father was an undergraduate student. A scholarship was named after Thurman at MVSU and my father was a recipient. Dad said as Thurman was exiting the car, he thanked him for the scholarship assistance and Thurman replied, “When you are in a position to help others, pass it on.” It was an honor for me to place the ashes of Howard Thurman, handed to me in an urn by Mrs. Sue Bailey Thurman during the dedication of the new Howard Thurman Bell Tower at Morehouse College in May, 1995, as one of the graduation events organized by Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, Sr., a fellow BU alumnus.

  5. Howard Thurman was an incredible influence in my life. My dad, dr sam hedrick, and mom spent an incredible three day weekend at his dunes cabin in Provincetown when I was in junior high school. He was the most gentle, twinkly eyed, bass voiced, and truly interesting man I ever met. There was sincerity in his every syllable and a concern for and interest in others in his every movement. My dad was at Bust at an incredible time, Martin and Corretta King were frequent visitors at our home in newton but to be honest one of the people from that period I remember most and most positively was Howard Thurman.

  6. Howard Thurman is so relevant for today’s racial
    upheavals, in the age of George Floyd, Black Lives
    Matter and white awakening. As a white married
    Lesbian who is 77 yrs old, participating in my Episcopal
    Church’s ten week course on racism, Thurman’s
    profound wisdom, searching questions, deep
    theology knocks me out intellectually and brings
    tears to my eyes from the “ear of my heart”.

    His voice is so needed in our world, especially in
    white Christian Churches, guiding us to the deep
    center of the self, where each of us dwell with God
    In this center all human beings can meet. Getting
    There so that this self makes a difference in its
    encounters with others, takes the wisdom and knowledge of
    love, practiced in commitment over and over again.
    I give God profound gratitude for the life of Howard

  7. I hear Rev Michael Beckwith of Agape speak and quote Dr Thurman so often that it peaked my interest in who is this man. Then I find out he had a connection with OBERLIN Ohio. It is fascinating reading and learning about him. Amazing.

  8. Thank you for this article! I have to write a biographical essay and I think I will describe Howard Thurman because he is an inspiring person and his leading role in social justice movements deserves respect. Moreover, he isn’t such a popular person for writing and I hope my essay will stand out from others.

  9. With great glee of interest and knowledge of Howard Thurman’s writings I sit with him often in thought. A profound thinker, writer, lecturer, a statement of inspiration. Thank you for this profile of his gifts. Much appreciated! :-)

  10. I’m a 70 year old woman from Texas, and I’m sorry to admit I hadn’t heard about Howard Thurman until today. I’m looking forward to reading his books, and sharing his story with others. Thank you for your introduction to this lovely soul.

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