Clarence Bozeman, Martin Luther King’s driver, came and spoke about his experience of knowing Martin Luther King in an event sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Dean of Multicultural Affairs, John Young. Bozeman opened up his speech with a strong statement.
“We in America have a race problem and if you don’t think we do, think about Westpoint,” Bozeman said.
As a young college student, Bozeman got the opportunity to be Martin Luther King’s and Coretta Scott King’s driver during the Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott. He mentions that it wasn’t easy to be receiving the chance; King questioned him to make sure he was a safe and dependable driver. Bozeman also drove him to Selma and was active in the Civil Rights Movement.
During his time of driving Mrs. King, he asked her when the first time she remembered their house was being bombed.
She replied saying, “I was in the room close by the living room and heard a noise. From then on, I went to the back to protect my kids.”
He remembers King being tired and weary for all of the struggles he had to face. Bozeman remarked on a time where he overslept and forgot to go pickup King. He said King came to his house and asked for his keys. Bozeman goes on to say how scared he was that he wasn’t going to have a job, but King forgave him and he was back driving for King the next day.
Later in Bozeman’s speech, he discusses the time that he remembered King saying he didn’t want a long funeral.
“I like for them to say Martin Luther King tried to love somebody,” King said.
Throughout Bozeman speech, he reminded the crowd that they should always help someone and be educated on their history. Overall, Bozeman enjoyed his first time coming to Wittenberg and speaking for the students.
“I always enjoy coming to speak to college students, but most of all educating students on black history is important,” Bozeman said.
One student, Gloria Craig, ‘19, expressed her thoughts of the speaker.
“He was really good. It’s interesting to hear his story and hear from someone who was so close to King in such an informal way,” Craig said.
Aacha Gregg, ’20, spoke about what she thought of Bozeman knowing King.
“He was very organized, but not too much like he had a speech written, but it was more of his own experiences with King’s own college experience,” Gregg said. “He engaged us because he was talking to us like we were having a conversation and not just reading from his speech.”