The African American Cultural Center will present a variety of activities free and open to the public as part of its twenty-first annual Martin Luther King, Jr., commemorative program and Black History Month kickoff on January 27, 2011.
Events begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude with a 7:00 p.m. keynote panel presentation in Fisher Auditorium in the IUP Performing Arts Center. The panel, focusing on the theme “What Would MLK Jr. Say: Is America Really Post-racial?” will feature journalists, authors, hip-hop artists, and activists.
Moderating the discussion will be Bakari Kitwana, president of Rap Sessions Inc. and author of the Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture.
Panel members will be Jabari Asim, Lisa Fager Bediako, Invincible (Ilana Weaver), Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Joan Morgan, and Adam Mansbach.
Asim is editor-in-chief of the NAACP’s Crisis magazine, poet and author of the N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why. He is a frequent public speaker who has appeared on the Today show, the Colbert Report,Hannity & Colmes, the Tavis Smiley show, the Diane Rehm Show, and countless other programs. He has lectured at many universities across the nation, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, Syracuse University, and the University of Florida.
Bediako is a former consultant for Congressional Black Caucus. She is the CEO and cofounder of Industry Ears Inc. and principal at FreeMind Communications Inc.
Invincible (Weaver) is a rapper/recording artist and a Detroit grassroots activist. She scripts lyrics to communicate both personal experience and a desire to effect social change. Recording on an independent label, she is known for her single the “Way We Make Music” on the Detroit Experiment.
Hill is a journalist and professor at Columbia University. His work, which covers topics such as hip-hop culture, politics, sexuality, education, and religion, has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, books, and anthologies. He has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, the Washington Post, Essence magazine, and the New York Times.
Morgan is the author of Black like Barack. She is an award-winning journalist, author, and cultural critic. She is the recipient of an Excellence Merit Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Mansbach is an author, hip-hop artist, and artist-in-residence at Rutgers University. His latest novel, the End of the Jews, won the California Book Award. It was named a Best Book of 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle and translated into five languages.
Other events for the kickoff, all in the Hadley Union Building, include the exhibit Reflections in Black: African American History on Wheels at 10:00 a.m. in the Ohio Room, showing of the film Martin Luther King, Jr.—The Man and the Dream at 11:00 a.m. in the Monongahela Room, reading of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at 11:30 a.m. in the Conemaugh Room, and a luncheon and reflections workshop featuring the showing of the Boondocks episode “Return of King” at noon in the Ohio and Monongahela rooms.
Find more information about the program on the African American Cultural Center website: Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Program.
Find a complete list of events honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and Black History Month in February 2011.
January 27, 201110:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.Hadley Union Building, Wallwork Hall, Fisher Auditorium
All activities are free and open to the public. Highlights include a keynote panel presentation featuring hip-hop artists, writers, journalists, and activists; a student leaders’ reception; reading of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; a luncheon; film screenings; and an exhibit.
For more information,
Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Program or