posted January 3, 2003

Black History Events Include Jan. 20 Service

 Hope College will present its 13th annual commemorative service and keynote address in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The service and keynote address will be among a series of related activities scheduled before, during and after the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. The schedule also includes a discussion of civil rights martyrs, a play about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and a multi-choir Gospel concert.

The public is invited to all of the events. Admission is free.

The commemorative service will feature the theme "Giving Life to the Declaration of Intent." The keynote speaker will be former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, who was the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate and is also the former U.S. ambassador to New Zealand.

Moseley-Braun, a Democrat, served in the Illinois House of Representatives for 10 years starting in 1978, and became the first African American in Illinois history to become assistant majority leader. She received the "Best Legislator" award from the Independent Voters of Illinois- Independent Precinct Organization for each of her 10 years in office.

From 1988 to 1992 she served as recorder of deeds for Cook County. She was the first woman and the first African American to hold executive office in the county's government.

She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, having first defeated the incumbent in the Democratic primary. She lost her seat in the 1998 election, but became the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand in 1999. She now maintains a private business law practice in Chicago and teaches a business law class at DePaul University.

The activities scheduled in conjunction with the service will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. with discussion of "Civil Rights Martyrs" through the college's "Dialogue on Race" series in the Maas Center auditorium. The event's facilitator will be Dr. Fred Johnson, who is an assistant professor of history.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Awele Makeba will present the one-woman stage play "Rage is Not a 1-Day Thing!" at 6:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center studio theatre. Written by Makeba, the play uses documentary theatre and multiple characters to examine the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The story is told primarily through the voice of 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus nine months before Rosa Parks's arrest for the same act.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, several choirs will present a "Gospel Fest" concert at 1 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Participating choirs include the Eastern Michigan Gospel Choir, the Hope College Gospel Choir, Silent Praise and the Voices of Grand Valley State University.

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street. The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.

Additional information about the commemorative service and the other events may be obtained either by calling the college's Office of Multicultural Life at (616) 395-7867 or at the office's Web site, www.hope.edu/multicultural.