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John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Events celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. set for this month at Stanford

Former members of the Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party will be among former civil-rights activists scheduled to take part in a series of events at Stanford commemorating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Organized by the university's King Committee, the events include a birthday celebration Jan. 17 for the civil-rights leader, a panel discussion Jan. 18 on women in the movement and a Jan. 27 concert featuring the SNCC Freedom Singers on Jan. 27.

In addition to honoring King's legacy, the Stanford-based King Papers Project is celebrating recent accomplishments, including last February's Grammy Award for the audio version of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the publication of Volume IV of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Project leaders have organized a dinner scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Jan. 17 at Flea Street Cafe, 3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park. The cost is $75 per person. Those planning to attend must call (650) 723-2092 by noon Wednesday, Jan. 10. (The King Papers Project also has organized an open house Jan. 19 -- see below for details.)

Following is a list of events scheduled from Jan. 17 through 27:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Party -- The celebration kicks off with a King birthday party at noon Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Tresidder Oak West. The Stanford Gospel Choir and Everyday People A Cappella Group are scheduled to perform at the event, and soul food will be served.
  • Up Close and Personal -- At noon Thursday, Jan. 18, a lunch with female activists who participated in the black freedom struggle is scheduled to be held in St. Clair Drake Lounge at Ujamaa House. A free lunch will be served.
  • Book Signing with Constance Curry -- From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18, a book signing with Constance Curry is scheduled at the Stanford Bookstore. Curry is the author of Silver Rights, the true story of black sharecroppers in Mississippi who enrolled their seven school-age children in previously all-white schools.
  • Living History: Women from Civil Rights to Black Power -- From 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 18 in Cubberley Auditorium, Victoria Gray Adams, a former member of SNCC and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party; Dorothy Cotton, former director of the Citizenship Education Program of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Ericka Huggins, a former Black Panther Party leader; and Curry will participate in a forum. The moderator will be Darlene Clark Hine, a professor of history at Michigan State University. A reception and poster signing will follow the event.
  • King Papers Project Open House -- On Friday, Jan. 19, the King Papers Project has organized an open house at its offices in Cypress Hall D on Via Ortega. A reception with refreshments is scheduled from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Special guests will include Jimmy Collier, a former Southern Christian Leadership Conference activist, Cotton and Adams. There also will be book signings of A Call to Conscience and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. ­ Volume IV: Symbol of the Movement, January 1957­December 1958. From 4 to 5 p.m., Collier, a songwriter and storyteller, will perform in Room B-01 of the Gates Building.
  • Black Panther Party Bus Tour -- From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, former Black Panther Steve McCutchen is scheduled to lead a bus tour to historic sites of the Black Panther Party. The tour is limited to students only. For more information, call the Black Community Services Center at the number below.
  • Multi-Faith Service -- At 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, a multi-faith service is scheduled to be held in Memorial Church.
  • Crossroads: Intersection of the Feminist Movement and the Civil Rights Movement -- From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, a talk featuring Bettina Aptheker, chairwoman of the Women's Studies Department at the University of California-Santa Cruz, is scheduled to be held in the Tresidder second-floor lounge.
  • A Place of Rage Film Screening -- From noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, in Tresidder Oak East and West, Lisa Webb, assistant dean for multicultural graduate student services in the School of Humanities and Sciences, will moderate a discussion following a screening of A Place of Rage, a film featuring prominent black women, such as Angela Davis and Alice Walker, commenting on the experiences of African American women, racial discrimination and its effects on American culture.
  • A Day of Service in Honor of King -- From 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, volunteers may participate in a Habitat for Humanity project in Redwood City.
  • SNCC Freedom Singers Concert -- At 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, the SNCC Freedom Singers are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. For more information about events (except those organized by the King Papers Project), call the Black Community Services Center at (650) 725-0030.

For more information about the King Papers Project's open house and dinner, call (650) 723-2092.


By John Sanford

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