Tulsa Man Who Met Dr. King Reflects On The Civil Rights Icon
TULSA, Oklahoma - Many people celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday and News on 6 had a chance to speak with a Tulsan who met the Civil Rights Icon.
Jim Goodwin was a college student when King spoke to a crowd of more than 1,000 at First Baptist North Tulsa in the summer of 1960. Goodwin says he remembers it well and has a clear memory of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"I was sitting right next to him,” said Goodwin. "It was a light encounter, right after the event Dr. King came over to my dad's office."
Goodwin is now 79 years old but was just a college student, on summer break from Notre Dame, when King visited Tulsa in July of 1960. Goodwin briefly spoke to the large crowd, before King's speech.
"It was packed. You have to keep in mind now, he had reached the national prominence in 60," said Goodwin.
Goodwin can't remember if they had an overflow crowd but says people were very excited.
"He was well received by the ministers here in Tulsa, and gave to be expected, an arousing address," he said.
Goodwin says he's taken the lessons from that speech with him throughout his life. After college, he became an attorney, and publisher of the Oklahoma Eagle, a newspaper headquartered in the historic Greenwood district.
8 years after the speech, when King was assassinated, Goodwin, his brother and dad traveled to the funeral.
"We felt compelled to pay tribute to a man who meant so much to America," said Goodwin.
And now, as his legacy lives on, Goodwin says King's message is still alive today.
"We need to remember we are all a part of one race and that's the human race," he said.
Goodwin says he also remembers meeting Ralph Abernathy that day, who was a close friend of Dr. King.