Family and Friends of Dr. Vivian Applaud My C. T. Vivian Story
Our author in residence, at Cascade Publishing House, Harold Michael Harvey, in the two weeks following the transition of Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian, penned a 131-page book reflecting 27 years of conversations with the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (My C. T. Vivian Story: A Powerful Flame That Burned Brightly, Cascade Publishing House, Atlanta, 2020).
Harvey’s inspiration to write about his relationship came after listening to Vivian’s eulogy eloquently preached by Vivian’s long time friend, Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley. During his eulogy, Durley said that everybody who ever met Vivian has a C. T. Vivian story.
The book reaches critical acclaim, at least from the late civil rights activist and humanitarian family and friends.
Durley recently wrote the author and had this to say:
“I attempted to articulate in my eulogy ‘everybody has a C. T. story’ and each one of them so profoundly personal. One must wonder how one man can touch so many different people in so many diverse ways, and all of them feel uniquely empowered.
As I read your [Harvey’s] meaningful personal recollections and reflections, I was ushered back into the numerous private conversations C. T. and I had over the years. And yes, I too thought that being with him was such an undeserved honor, yet I relished every moment, as did you. I said that C. T. would loom larger in death than in life because others would finally do what he never would do ‘TELL HIS STORY.’ I am grateful that you are chronicling this great man’s life. I know that you missed those treasured times when just the two of you shared, but those gentle memories will comfort you.”
Denise Morse, one of Dr. Vivian’s daughters, wrote:
“Mr. Harvey, I read your lovingly written book. For a few moments, it brought me closer to dad, and I thank you for writing it. I gave my first copy away and just ordered my second copy. We need to have you sign one for the library [C. T. and Octavia Vivian Library].”
Keenan Nix, a personal injury attorney with Morgan & Morgan, said, “Thank you for sharing your literary gifts with our generation. You enjoy writing, and it shows in your prose! More important than the words is the message of hope in the promise of democracy embodied in the pages of these classics.”
“I am humbled and honored by the response thus far. I started to write a 750-1500 word tribute to Dr. Vivian, but as I would reflect on one moment I spent with him, another one would pop into my mind, so I continued to write them down. After about day three, I told my editor that I thought there was a book in my reflections. She encouraged me to continue to recall and record the memories. I am happy that others find solace and strength in my C. T. Vivian stories, Harvey said.”
Perhaps we all should pick up a copy of My C. T. Vivian Story. When the coronavirus is brought under control next year, we can meet up over food and drink, talk about Harvey’s C. T. Vivian stories, and add yours to the collection.
A future discussion of C. T. Vivian’s stories, wow, now that is something to look forward to.
FROM THE DESK OF C. M. HARVEY
Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. Harvey is an engaging public speaker. Contact him at email@example.com.