Events continue to mark 50th anniversary of MLK assassination

crossing the bridge poster

To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the University of the South will hold a series of events with the theme “Crossing the Bridge: Living the Legacy of MLK.” The purpose of the series is to reflect upon King’s lessons and actions in the 1960s and to consider his legacy: How have things changed? What more shall we do? How is MLK still alive in our actions?

All events in the series are free and open to the public:

Monday, March 26, 4:30 p.m. in Convocation Hall: Craig Steven Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give a public lecture drawn from his path-breaking scholarship on the central importance of slavery to the history of American higher education. His presentation, “‘Southward and … the West Indies’: Colleges and Slavery in the Age of Revolution,” is sponsored by the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. at the Sewanee Union Theatre: A screening of I Am Not Your Negro will be followed by an open conversation moderated by Eunice Muchemi, C’19, and Karen Proctor, special assistant to the provost. This 2016 film expands author James Baldwin’s exploration of race in America, with his personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. Free admission for all and free popcorn and drinks, courtesy of the Office of Civic Engagement, the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace, and the Dean of the College.

Wednesday, April 4, starting at 6 p.m. on the Quad: The Sewanee community is invited to gather on the Quad to mark the anniversary of the assassination of MLK. Following a brief program on the Quad, the gathering will process down University Avenue to Angel Park. At both locations, speakers will offer their reflections on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Rain locations: Convocation Hall and St. Mark’s Hall, Otey Memorial Parish.) The event is sponsored by the Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, the School of Theology, All Saints’ Chapel, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace, the Sewanee Business Alliance, Otey Memorial Parish, and student organizations SGA, BSU, OCCU, HOLA, ACASA, and the Community Engagement House. 

Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m. in Hargrove Auditorium, Hamilton Hall at the School of Theology: The community is invited to a panel discussion entitled “Visions of Unity: Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Legacy of Bishop Carpenter.” Panelists will consider the historical connection between Bishop Carpenter (Sewanee's chancellor from 1961-67) and King’s iconic letter, considering what this historical moment has to teach us today. Sponsored by the Diversity and Reconciliation Committee at the School of Theology and the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. in Convocation Hall: Diane Nash, an icon of the American Civil Rights movement, will speak on “The Movements of the '60s: A Legacy for Today.” Nash was prominently involved with integrating lunch counters through sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was part of a committee that promoted the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Nash’s presentation is sponsored by the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, Bairnwick Women’s Center, Women's and Gender Studies, and the Center for Speaking and Listening.