DAVIDSON – Benjamin Jealous, immediate past president and CEO of the NAACP, will speak as part of Davidson College’s Martin Luther King Day activities.
Jealous was the youngest-ever NAACP president when he stepped down from the post at the end of 2013.
He has led state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality and free wrongfully incarcerated people.
Under his leadership, the NAACP experienced its first multi-year membership growth in 20 years and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country.
Jealous will give the keynote lecture 11 a.m.-noon Jan. 21 in Davidson College’s Duke Family Performance Hall. There is no charge to attend.
Davidson College invites the public to attend other free MLK-themed activities, seminars and talks on Jan. 20. They are as follows:
• King Day for Kids: Students in kindergarten through fifth grade take part in small group readings, arts and crafts, storytelling and personal expressions of their dreams 9-11 a.m. in Alvarez College Union Brown Atrium. Registration for the event closed Jan. 13.
• Civil Rights Cinema: The college screens the six-part series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Alvarez College Union Room 313. The film explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed to forge their history, culture and society against unimaginable odds.
• Dr. Martin Luther King Day Lecture: Professors Nancy Fairley and Hilton Kelly will screen the video “40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk” at 11 a.m. in Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room. The video serves as an introduction to an examination of the divergent memories of high school students who integrated schools in the American South. They will discuss the difficulties experienced by African American students and the denial of complicity by white students.
• MLK Seminar Series: Davidson students Joshua Arthur, Tommy Chaisuesomboon, Elizabeth Lackey, Craig Stevens, Joi Stevens and Zach Zapatero will demonstrate how racial framing is perpetuated in social media and Walt Disney films 1:30-2:45 p.m. in Alvarez College Union Room 209. The seminar, “Racial Framing in Disney Films and Social Media,” is part of the MLK Seminar Series.
• MLK Seminar Series: Professor of History Daniel Aldridge will lead this discussion about how the Civil Rights movement actually began immediately after African Americans were freed from slavery following the Civil War 1:30-2:45 p.m. in Alvarez College Union Sprinkle Room. The seminar, "The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Successful Struggle Against Jim Crow,” is part of the MLK Seminar Series.
• MLK Seminar Series: Davidson College senior Callie Anderson explains how representations of Dr. King in school curriculum and children’s books have turned him into a mythic figure and distorted his life and activism 1:30-2:45 p.m. in Alvarez College Union Room 303. The seminar, “Disingenuous Narratives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Children’s Literature,” is part of the MLK Seminar Series.
• MLK Seminar Series: Clint Smith, a 2010 Davidson graduate, will perform his prize-winning slam poetry 3-4:15 p.m. in Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room. The seminar, “Poetic Reflections of Social Justice,” is part of the MLK Seminar Series.