University of Chicago Professor and Civil Rights Movement veteran Thomas C. Holt delivered the U-M Department of History's 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Lecture to a standing-room-only crowd at 1014 Tisch Hall on January 18, 2016.

Professor Holt's talk, "The Atrocity That Launched a Social Movement: Why the Civil Rights Movement Began When It Did, As It Did," considered the origins of the Movement as a mass phenomenon, locating the impetus to the events surrounding the murder of Emmett Till in 1955.

An audio recording of the event is available online for individuals with a U-M computing account.

Professor Holt is James Westfall Thompson Distinguished Service Professor of American and African American History at the University of Chicago. His latest book, Children of Fire: A History of African Americans, debuted in 2011. He was a faculty member at the University of Michigan in History and African and African American Studies from 1979 to 1988.

This event was presented by the Department of History and the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, with support from the Kalt Fund for African American and African History.

Photos by Roger Hart, Michigan Photography.