2013 King Celebration Will Explore Civil Rights Struggles on Many Fronts

December 21, 2012

UPDATE, JAN. 15, 2013: The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery has cancelled his scheduled Jan. 24 appearance for health reasons. A replacement has not yet been announced.

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and fought for black civil rights alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will be the keynote speaker in this year’s commemoration of King at the University of Virginia.

With the theme, “Montgomery to Main,” the 2013 Community MLK Celebration spans a month of events, beginning with the 28th Annual Martin Luther King Community Celebration at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church on Jan. 13 and concluding with a screening of “Walk On: the Rosa Parks Story” on Feb. 8 at the Paramount Theater.

Other special guests include Julian Bond, the comedian Akintunde and historian James Patterson. For information about all the events, click here.

In addition to the Rosa Parks film, several others are on the schedule. The recent documentary, “Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement, will be screened and followed by a conversation with Bond Jan. 30. U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan and other distinguished guests will also make remarks.

The University Library will present a selection of oral histories from the William Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project on Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Harrison/Small Auditorium.

The William Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project tells the legal history of the civil rights struggle. The online interviews, which filled 273 tapes left to the library, are available through the library's Virgo service. Elwood, a former College of Arts & Sciences administrator who died in 2002, worked with students through the 1980s to capture the interviews for a documentary film, “The Road to Brown: The Untold Story of the Man Who Killed Jim Crow,” which aired on public television in 1990.

The film, “Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by journalist Douglas Blackmon – now the moderator of the forum series at U.Va.’s Miller Center – will be screened and followed by a panel discussion on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. in Nau Hall auditorium.

Other panel discussions will focus on topics such as workplace equality and disparities in access to health care. Guest speakers also will talk about education, war and history.

The Miller Center presents speakers at two of its forums, Kimberley L. Phillips and James Patterson.

Phillips, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Brooklyn College, will give a talk Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. about her most recent book, “War! What Is It Good For?: Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military From World War II to Iraq.” The book examines how blacks’ participation in wars and their struggles for equal citizenship galvanized an antiwar activism that reshaped their struggles for freedom.

Patterson will speak about “The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America” on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. His 30 years of research includes books on political, legal and social history, as well as the history of medicine, race relations and education.

On a lighter note, Akintunde, dubbed “the Minister of Comedy,” will appear Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Piedmont Virginia Community College’s performing arts theatre. He has written for “It's Showtime at the Apollo” and comedians Monique and Chris Tucker. Akintunde has appeared on The Word Network, TBN, The Gospel Music Channel and the Stellar Gospel Music Awards..

U.Va.’s Black Voices Gospel Choir and other choruses will provide music at a few of the events, including Lowry’s speech.

The MLK Celebration is a collaborative effort involving the University’s Office of Diversity and Equity, several U.Va. schools and offices, community partners, Piedmont Virginia Community College and the Paramount Theater.

Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications