News correspondent to mark King observance

A distinguished journalist, an award-winning actress and a noted gospel group will be among the guests at Bates College Jan. 19 and 20 to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Emmy and Peabody award-winning national correspondent for PBS’s The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, America’s only nightly hour of national evening news, will speak at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20 in Alumni Gymnasium.

Hunter-Gault also anchors Rights and Wrongs: Human Rights Television, a weekly half-hour news magazine on public television which incorporates news, investigative reports, interviews, features and cultural segments into a global views magazine that examines human rights issues worldwide.

She is the author of In my Place, her personal memoir covering her early years leading up to her historic role in the civil rights movement. Hunter Gault is also featured in the book and exhibit, ‘I Dream a World,’ Portraits of Black Women who changed America.

The Bullock Brothers, an accomplished Gospel ensemble based in Boston will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday Jan. 19, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall 75 Russell St. Twelve members of the Bullock family will join the Bates Community Gospel Ensemble in a celebration concert.

Following Hunter-Gault’s talk Jan. 20 there will be a series of workshops and presentations by Bates students, faculty and staff. These gatherings will examine the principles for which King stood and devote time to the discussion of community activism as it relates to such issues as discrimination and equal rights for women.

Also planned for Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall is an award-winning one-woman performance by actress and playwright Billie Jean Young of her work Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light Will Shine. The production explores the life of the Mississippi- born sharecropper who registered to vote in 1962, commencing a prolonged battle for social and economic justice.

The public is invited to attend all the events free of charge.

Bates takes a special interest in events related to Dr. King, because a Bates graduate was one of the civil-rights leader’s mentors. The late Benjamin E. Mays, a 1920 Bates graduate, was the long-time president of Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, and a lifelong adviser to King, who was assassinated in 1968. Mays delivered the eulogy at Dr.King’s funeral.

The events at Bates commemorate the birthday of King, who would have been 68-years-old on Jan. 15.

There will be no classes at Bates Jan. 20 to allow students and the rest of the college community to participate in the public events and discussions in observance of Dr. King’s birthday.

For further information, call 786-6031 or 786-6222.

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