Carolina Peacemaker, N.C. A&T theater arts founder John Kilimanjaro dies

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North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (WGHP)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — After Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Bennett College in 1958, a 28-year-old N.C. A&T professor challenged the civil rights icon about his notion of nonviolence.

“I said to him, ‘You are going to wind up getting a lot of people killed because you are counting on the white man having a conscience,'” John Marshall Kilimanjaro, also the secretary of the local NAACP at the time, told King.

“You are absolutely right,” King replied. “We must so appeal to that conscience, no matter how hard it may be … so we will not only win our victory, but we will win him over in the process.”

Kilimanjaro, who despite not having a journalism background was inspired to start The Carolina Peacemaker to give a voice to the voiceless during turbulent times and to force those in power to listen, died at the age of 88 this morning — the day the weekly newspaper is printed. His wife of 62 years, Vickie Kilimanjaro, was at his side.

“After I pulled myself together, I asked her, ‘You mean he died on press day?'” said daughter and Peacemaker editor Afrique Kilimanjaro, who moved back home years ago to help run the newspaper. She has to smile.

Read more in the News & Record

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