Published: Friday, 19 February 2021
Written by David Rowe
53 years after the assassination of Dr. King, his proclamations still ring loudly in the hearts and minds of social activists everywhere.
When the historic, deeply rooted racism of the United States was exposed this summer, Dr. King’s words were revitalized once again. His timeless words touched upon issues that remain largely unresolved in the United States – white supremacy, poverty, income inequality, voter suppression and more.
At the 22nd annual MLK celebration next week, Dr. King’s legacy will be highlighted for LBSU students through several engaging events. The decision to dedicate a week of student-centered programs to Dr. King was made by several collaborating organizations – the Africana Studies Department, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, Associated Students, Inc., SisterFriends, Sistahs-on-Campus, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. – who strive to provide safe spaces for students to exchange experiences and opinions on critical social issues.
"One aim of the event series is to present the dichotomy of Dr. King,” Beach Pride Coordinator Sabrina Ware said. “Dr. King preached love and unity for all – but he also understood that a fighting spirit is needed to resist oppression.”
The week of events kicks off with Poetry Jam on Monday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m., where students are encouraged to express themselves through poetry alongside acclaimed poet and professor Bridgette Bianca. For information on the event, visit asicsulb.org.
“Poetry Jam is all about empowering each other in a safe, supportive environment,” Sabrina said. “In addition to building a sense of community among participants, this provides an opportunity for all of us to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through the arts.”
Events will continue through Friday, with deep discussions on important topics guided by supportive community leaders included throughout. Wednesday will feature a discussion led by the Black Faculty & Staff Association on the lessons learned from recent tragedies, while Thursday's will center around the film Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, cultural issues, urban unrest and more. The week-long series will conclude with Unity Game Night on Friday, Feb. 26 from 5 to 6 p.m., featuring a fun and unique round of trivia on Black culture. Zoom information can be found at asicsulb.org.
"MLK Celebration week starts and ends with light-hearted, community-focused events,” Sabrina said. “But don’t miss out on those mid-week events for important conversations about protests, Black Power and more.”
Sabrina emphasized the connection between Dr. King’s work and many modern-day movements.
“We encourage all students to join the conversation,” she said. “Just as it was in Dr. King’s time, young people have the power to fight for their rights and drive change today.”
For a full list of Black History Month events, visit csulb.edu.