Shortly after the opening of the spring 2013 semester, Beloit will host an entire week of events celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Week of Remembrance and Celebration events will take place Monday, Jan. 21 – Friday, Jan. 25.
Convocation and reception:
The week begins with the 8th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Convocation on Monday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. at Eaton Chapel with music by the Beloit Community Ministers’ Fellowship Youth Choir.
Sherrick Anderson of Higher Ground Christian Center will serve as the guest invocation and benediction speaker, and Linda Fair (pictured below), former director of the Merrill Community Center and the retention specialist at Community Action, will give a talk titled “Is the Dream Still Alive? If So, Who is Keeping it Alive?” Beloit College President Scott Bierman will also speak in addition to sophomore Kaavya Parsa who won first place in an MLK Convocation essay contest. Parsa’s speech is called "Once Upon a Time:The Legend and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King."
Following the convocation, guests are invited to visit the Wright Museum of Art to view the Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott-Warsh Collection. The traveling exhibition of collected portraiture created by artists of African descent features the black face in representational and conceptual portraiture.
Theatre and lecture:
On Tuesday, Jan. 22, there will be a reading of the first act of Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Amy Sarno’s play, “Do You See What I’m Saying?” from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Wright Museum of Art. The play recounts the history of the Fairbanks Flats, which formerly served as a segregated housing complex for Fairbanks Morse Engine’s African American workers. Sarno has been working on the play in collaboration with the Shore Drive/Maple Avenue Neighborhood Association, Beloit College students, and Darren Kelly.
Following the reading, Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. (above) will give a lecture titled “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the N-word” at 8 p.m. in Moore Lounge of Pearsons Hall. Moore is the founder of the White Privilege Conference.
Poetry and spoken word:
The Office of Intercultural Affairs will present “Lessons & Letters from a Birmingham Jail,” a student-produced poetry/spoken word event featuring the Soulshakers, the Beloit Poetry Club, and a special performance by Beloit College sophomore Calago Hipps (below) as Dr. King on on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Moore Lounge of Pearsons Hall.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, “Gospel Music,” a lively, moving concert featuring the choirs of the local faith community will take place in Eaton Chapel from 7– 9:30 p.m. Participating choirs and singers include the Voices of Lighthouse from Beloit’s Lighthouse Fellowship Church, the Higher Ground Choir from Beloit’s Higher Ground Christian Center, the New Life Choir from Beloit’s New Life Ministries, Generation N.O.W from Rockford, Ill., and Sheryl Youngblood from Chicago. Greg Bridges will serve as the concert’s MC.
And more:Finally, throughout the week “A Reflection on the Legacy and Life of MLK, Jr.,” will be on display in the Hales Gallery of the Wright Museum of Art. The showcase is sponsored by Intercultural Affairs and Black Students United. Residential Life will also display an MLK timeline in D.K.’s Café in Pearsons Hall.
Through Jan. 21, blue ribbon bookmarks printed with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s likeness are available for sale (for $1) at the front desk of the Communications and Marketing Office. All proceeds from the sale will benefit a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
All Martin Luther King, Jr. events are free and open to the public.