News

Former NAACP President to Highlight Davidson College King Day Events

by Bill Giduz
MLK Day
During the "King Day for Kids" programming, Davidson College students will lead participants in reading books about Dr. King.

Davidson College invites the public to a talk by Benjamin T. Jealous, immediate past president and CEO of the NAACP, Tuesday, Jan. 21. Jealous will speak as part of the college's Martin Luther King Day activities beginning at 11 a.m. in the Duke Family Performance Hall. There is no charge to attend. For information, call 704-894-2225.

Jealous was the youngest-ever NAACP president when he stepped down from the post at the end of 2013. He began his career with the organization at age 18, opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

He has been a leader of successful 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 is a graduate of Columbia University, and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer prior to his involvement in the NAACP. Working at Mississippi's Jackson Advocate newspaper, he conducted investigations that exposed corruption at the state penitentiary, and proved the innocence of a black farmer who was being framed for arson.

He also worked for Amnesty International, leading successful efforts to outlaw prison rape, expose the increasing trend of children being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and draw attention to expanded racial profiling in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

He has been named to the "40 Under 40" lists of both Forbes and Time magazines, and was named a "Young Global Economic Leader" by the World Economic Forum. Jealous lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.

Schedule of Events for MLK Day 2014

Davidson College invites the public to attend a series of activities, seminars and talks in commemoration of Martin Luther King Day 2014, Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 20 and 21. There is no charge to attend any of the events. For more information call 704-894-2225.

The list of activities and times follows.

MONDAY, JAN. 20

King Day for Kids: 9 - 11a.m., Alvarez College Union Brown Atrium
Area youth in grades K-5 are invited to take part in small group readings, arts and crafts, storytelling, and personal expressions of their dreams. Children will receive literacy-based goodie bags at the end of the afternoon. Please register prior to Monday, Jan. 13 via http://tinyurl.com/kingdayforkids. For information contact Kyle Goodfellow at kygoodfellow@davidson.edu or 704-894-2460.

Civil Rights Cinema: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Alvarez College Union Room 313
The six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross will be shown continually during this time. Written and presented by Prof. Henry Louis Gates, 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, "40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk": 11 a.m., Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room
Professors Nancy Fairley and Hilton Kelly will screen the video 40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk 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: "Racial Framing in Disney Films and Social Media," 1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union Room 209
Scholars concur that racial framing plays an important role in the perpetuation of racism. Racial framing is defined as an organized set of racial ideas, narrative, images and stereotypes that denigrate and discriminate against minority groups. During this session, 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 such as Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Walt Disney films.

MLK Seminar Series: "The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Successful Struggle Against Jim Crow," 1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union Sprinkle Room
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. Though Martin Luther King Jr. is justly celebrated as one of the greatest human rights leaders in world history, he was part of a long tradition that included many figures, such as Booker T. Washington, Ida Wells-Barnett, W. E. B. Du Bois, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X. The struggle still continues, but the successes of African American forbears will be recognized in this session.

MLK Seminar Series: "Disingenuous Narratives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Children's Literature," 1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union Room 303
Davidson College senior Calley Anderson leads this presentation of her research into how representations of King in school curriculum and children's books have turned him into a mythic figure, and simultaneously distorted his life and activism.

MLK Seminar Series: "Poetic Reflections of Social Justice," 3 - 4:15 p.m., Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room
Clint Smith '10, Davidson alumnus, poet, educator and activist from New Orleans, will perform his prize-winning slam poetry. Smith founded Davidson College's "Free Word" slam poetry team and has performed at slams, universities, workshops and poetry festivals throughout the United States and across Southern Africa. Smith won the 2012 Graffiti DC Grand Slam and is a member of the 2012 Beltway Poetry Team, representing DC at the National Poetry Slam. Smith also has served as a State Department cultural ambassador to Swaziland, where he conducted poetry workshops focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and self-empowerment with youth.

TUESDAY, JAN. 21

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Featuring NAACP Immediate Past President
Benjamin Jealous, 11 a.m. - Noon, Duke Family Performance Hall
Benjamin Todd Jealous stepped down at the end of 2013 as the youngest president in the history of the NAACP. Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality and free wrongfully incarcerated people. He began his career at the NAACP at age 18 opening mail at the Legal Defense Fund. 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. A Rhodes Scholar, he is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford Universities. He has been named to the "40 under 40" lists of both Forbes and Time magazines, and labeled a Young Global Economic Leader by the World Economic Forum.