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Benedict, Ruth

b. 1887 - d. 1948

Born Ruth Fulton in New York City, Ruth Benedict became a defining figure in the field of anthropology. She studied at Vassar College, took courses at The New School and wrote poetry under the pseudonym Anne Singleton. In 1921 she began her doctoral studies at Columbia University under the supervision of Franz Boas. She finished her doctoral thesis in 1923 and joined the faculty of Columbia where she remained until her death. Her research and writing addressed the problem of human inequality. Dr. King encountered her work while an undergraduate at Morehouse College. Later, he made reference to her work in speeches and sermons and in writing. He included her among those scientists who had already disproved the anthropological foundations of white supremacy.

Associated Archive Content : 3 results

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.

Love in Action

Dr. King expounds on the love of God by referencing a verse from the Bible in the Book of Luke. The verse states, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Dr. King notes the truth of this verse is also revealed in race relation of today.

The American Dream

This document contains the text of an address that Dr. King gave at Plymouth Church of The Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. King describes the steps that should be taken in order to make the American Dream a reality.