University, town set to kick off MLK Day events

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Sunday, the 28th Annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet will kick of a weeklong celebration of the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King, a Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement, was born Jan. 15, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tenn., to support sanitation workers on strike for higher wages and better treatment.

Memorial Banquet, Sunday 
At 6 p.m., Judge Henry Frye, the first African-American to be elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the 20th century, will be the keynote speaker at the Memorial Banquet at the Friday Center.
He served in the State House for 12 years and was then elected to a two-year term in the North Carolina Senate. In 1983, Justice Frye became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He was appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court in September 1999.
Tickets will be available at the door until they are all sold.
March and rally, Monday
On Monday, the celebration continues with a march and rally beginning at 9 a.m., at the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street.
The march will end at First Baptist Church, located a 106 N. Roberson St., where Chapel Hill native Thurman Couch will lead the rally with a keynote address.
Thurman, director of operation at Couch & Associates in Durham, was a student leader in the first integrated senior class (1967) at Chapel Hill High School.   
“He was very instrumental as a spokesperson of the entire class,” said Robert Campbell, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, and also a member of the 1967 senior class.
Campbell said the celebration this year will focus on youth leadership and mentoring young people so that they can eventually take over leadership roles in the community.    

MLK Memorial Lecture, Tuesday
The celebration continues Tuesday with activist, writer and entrepreneur Kevin Powell will give the 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture at UNC-Chapel Hill at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Student Union.
The event, which is free, will begin with a scholarship presentation.
Powell has published 11 books, including his latest collection of political and pop culture writings, “Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and The Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays.”
Powell is a 2012-2013 visiting scholar at Virginia State University.

Women’s Work with Civil Rights: The Story of Ella Baker, Wednesday
The Carolina Women’s center will host an event Wednesday at 5 p.m., in the Stone Center Hitchcock Multipurpose Room to recognize the accomplishments of women throughout the Civil Rights Movement.
This event is dedicated to Ella Baker and her contributions to SNCC and civil rights. A screening and short discussion of “Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker” will take place. Light refreshments will be provided.
Sponsor: Carolina Women’s Center
Contact: Kendra Hickman at

“I, Too, Sing America,” Friday
The Black Student Movement’s Cultural Diversity Committee will hold its annual “I, Too, Sing America” program at 6:30 p.m., in the Stone Center Hitchcock Multipurpose Room.
The event will feature a discussion of Dr. King’s legacy and how it is portrayed today.
Dr. King’s vision will be looked at through Langston Hughes’s poem “I, Too, Sing America.”
Students from local high schools will also showcase their dreams by relating their own interpretations of the poem to Dr. King’s legacy in unique ways.
There will be performances by select campus groups.
Sponsor: The Black Student Movement
Contact: Trey Mangum at
For a fuller listing of this week’s events on the UNC campus and Town of Chapel Hill go to