WFU to Celebrate King’s Birthday with Angelou Reading

A reading by poet Maya Angelou and a contemporary version of T. S. Eliot’s play “Murder in the Cathedral” will highlight a weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday at Wake Forest University.

On Monday, Jan. 18, Maya Angelou will read King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel. Written by King in 1963 after he was arrested during a demonstration in Birmingham, the letter was later widely circulated and became a classic of the civil rights movement.

Angelou is Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

“Murder in the Cathedral” will be performed on Sunday, Jan. 17, in Wait Chapel by The Collective Theatre Company, a Winston-Salem theater troupe. In this production, Eliot’s play becomes an allegory about King. The Wake Forest University Gospel Choir also will take part in the performance. Admission is free, but tickets should be picked up in advance at the Benson University Center information desk. The 7 p.m. play will be followed by a candlelight vigil in front of Wait Chapel.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Wake Forest will host a 7 p.m. lecture and discussion on the “Role of Black Women in the Workplace.” Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell, author of “Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women’s Paths to Success in Corporate America,” will speak. Bell is associate professor of management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The free lecture will be held in Brendle Recital Hall.

Bell will also participate in a “Town Meeting on Affirmative Action” scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium. Other panelists include Charles Richman, Wake Forest professor of psychology, and Robert Whaples, Wake Forest associate professor of economics. The discussion will be moderated by Katy Harriger, Wake Forest associate professor of politics. The event is sponsored by the Philomathesian Society, a Wake Forest student organization, and is free.

Guest pastor Darryl Robinson of Detroit’s Liberty Baptist Church will talk about the impact of Martin Luther King Jr. in an 11 a.m. chapel service on Thursday, Jan. 21, in Davis Chapel.

To conclude the week, Wake Forest’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will present “Off to the Races,” a social comedy/drama that deals with how people judge one another based on appearances. Presented by Seven AM Productions Drama Troupe, the Friday, Jan. 22, event is free and will begin at 8 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall.

Throughout the week, there will a special exhibit in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library highlighting King’s life and involvement in the civil rights movement. The display will include newspaper articles and other materials regarding King’s October 1962 visit to Wake Forest.

The week’s events were planned by a special committee of faculty, students and staff. For information, call 336-758-5210.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Speakers