M.L. King Jr. Birthday Commemorated At Denison With Community Events
Posted: January 4, 2002
A series of events will mark the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday on the Denison University campus starting on Sunday (Jan. 20) and ending with a chapel service on Wednesday (Jan. 23). With the theme of "Struggle for a New World," Angela Davis, activist/organizer and currently a professor in the history of consciousness interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will be the featured speaker at a community luncheon at 12:30 p.m. on Monday (Jan. 21) in the Mitchell Center.
The commemoration of King's life and work starts with an interactive performance of African drumming and dancing by Tony West and the Imani Dancers from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 20) in the Bandersnatch.
The Mitchell Center will serve as the focal point for Monday's activities, starting with an all-campus luncheon at 11:15 a.m. and the Davis speech at 12:30 p.m. A series of workshops led by students and faculty will follow which will focus on current social, economic and political issues. Monday evening from 8 to 10:30 p.m., there will be a Poetry Slam on the third floor of Slayter Hall. Commemortion activities culminate in a 7 p.m. chapel service on Wednesday (Jan. 23) in Swasey chapel with student speakers and music by the Denison Gospel choir.
Davis was catapulted to national attention after being removed from her teaching position in the philosophy department at UCLA. A social activist and a member of the Communist Party, USA, she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on charges stemming from her involvement in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, which marked the start of her long-standing commitment to prisoners' rights. She was the subject of an intense police search during which time she went underground. Convicted in a highly publicized trial, a massive "Free Angela Davis" campaign was organized, which led up to her acquittal in 1972.
Davis previously appeared at Denison in 1981 when she came as a speaker during Black History Month.
A member of the Advisory Board of the Prison Activist Resource Center (Berkeley, Calif.), Davis is currently working on a comparative study of women's imprisonment in the U.S., the Netherlands and Cuba. She is the author of five books includingAngela Davis: An Autobiography, Women, Race & Class, and the recently publishedBlues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. Another book,Dispossessions and Punishments: Essays on the Prison Industrial Complex, is forthcoming from Pantheon.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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