Michigan Speaker of the House Tate to visit Albion College for MLK event Jan. 23

January 16, 2023

Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Joe Tate, the first African American to serve in that role, will be the guest speaker at Albion College’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Community Celebration Monday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Bohm Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We are celebrating 60 years since Dr. King visited our campus,” said Edward Visco, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service.

King came to Albion College in March of 1963 and gave a speech about segregation at Goodrich Chapel to a capacity crowd, according to the College archives. According to a Pleiad article dated March 15, 1963, the speech was entitled, “America Divides Personality’ Says Martin Luther King, Jr.” The article includes notable portions of his speech.

According to the article, King spoke to more than 1,400 in Goodrich Chapel about the problems with segregation. King said that three things needed to happen before the American Dream could be possible for all people: “We must make [the world] a brotherhood,” the idea of superior and inferior races must end, and a non-violent action program must be started “to break down the barriers of discrimination and segregation.” King mentioned two myths about civil rights: that time will solve all problems and the idea of “educational determinism” or believing that education, alone, will solve racial problems. When speaking about the situation of race in the United States, King summed up by saying, “America has been a schizophrenic personality tragically divided against herself. Racial segregation and the national philosophy that ‘all men are created equal’ are a strange paradox.”

Tate (D-Grosse Pointe,) has been a house representative since 2018. He served as minority vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee in his second term.

Before going into politics, Tate was on Michigan State University’s football team from 1999-2003, graduating with a degree in public policy. He was in the National Football League for two seasons before leaving to serve two tours in Afghanistan as a Marine.

Tate received a master’s of business administration and a master’s of science in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan, graduating in 2017.