Charles Vert Willie (October 8, 1927 – January 11, 2022) was an American sociologist and the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education, Emeritus at Harvard University. His areas of research included desegregation, higher education, public health, race relations, urban community problems, and family life.
It is an ancient custom, as ancient as the Roman Empire, to idolize those whom we honor, to make them larger than life, to give their marvelous accomplishments a magical and mystical origin. By exalting the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. into a legendary tale that is annually told, we fail to recognize his humanity -- his personal and public struggles -- that are similar to yours and mine. By idolizing those whom we honor, we fail to realize that we could go and do likewise.