Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DU hosts events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday

Dominican University will host a lecture, “Rivers, Waves and Dreams: Metaphors of the African American Sociohistorical Experience,” on Thursday, January 20 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday week. Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, president of the National Council for Black Studies, will present the lecture at 4:30 p.m. in Rosary Chapel, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest.

Cha-Jua, associate professor of history and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will discuss the river, waves and dream metaphors used by Langston Hughes, Vincent Harding, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The dream was King’s central metaphor for African Americans’ aspirations for freedom, justice and equality. Cha-Jua will look at how the river analogy applies to African Americans’ long, winding sojourn in the U.S. Cha-Jua argues that the modern Black liberation movement is best conceived as a series of dialectically related, surging waves whose advances are followed by the ebbing waters of retrenchment and regression.

Cha-Jua is the author of America’s First Black Town, Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915 (2000); Sankofa: Racial Formation and Transformation, Toward a Theory of African American History (2000); and co-editor of Race Struggles (2009). He serves on the editorial boards of The Black Scholars, Journal of African American Studies, and Journal of Black Studies.

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua
In addition to the lecture on January 20, Dominican will hold a panel discussion on “King’s Legacy: Civil and Political Rights and Nonviolent Resistance” on Tuesday, January 18 at 2:30 p.m. in the Rosary Chapel. Panelists will include Sister Clemente Davlin, professor emerita of English; Gilmer Cook, assistant professor of English; Hugh McElwain, professor of theology; Dianne Costanzo, lecturer in arts and sciences; and Megan Graves, class of 2014.

The university will also participate in Chicago’s city-wide day of service on Monday, January 17. On Thursday, January 20, at 6:30 p.m., the university will host a spoken-word gathering for students and members of the community in the campus Underground.
Re-igniting the Dream will feature spoken-word performances inspired by King’s writings and speeches. A jury headed by Oak Park River Forest High School teacher Peter Kahn will award a $100 prize. For more information, contact Trudi Goggin, dean of students, at (708) 524-6822.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Janice Monti, chair of the sociology and criminology department, at (708) 524-6771 or

Contact: Jessica Mackinnon (708) 524-6289 December 28, 2010

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