When Albert Einstein announced his “Theory of Relativity” 100 years ago, it solidified the German-born scientist’s legend. But what some may not know is that Einstein was also a staunch supporter of civil rights causes and once called racism a “disease of white people” in a speech.
In 1946, Einstein was invited to Lincoln University to offer a commencement speech to its students and to also accept an honorary degree. The speech was a significant moment as Einstein, who was in poor health, famously refused speaking engagements and honorary degrees. Einstein used the platform of a predominantly Black college to speak to students about racism, something he faced as a Jew living in war-torn Germany.
Einstein arrived in the United States in 1933 and began teaching at Princeton University, a position he held until his death 22 years later. Einstein fled Nazi Germany ahead of the genocide of what various…
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