Noted liberation theologist to speak on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Philosopher, educator and minister William R. Jones will deliver the keynote address, “Beyond Hate Language: The Oppressor’s Ploy or Pathology of the Oppressed?,” for the 2000 Bates College Martin Luther King Day Jr. celebration at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17, in Alumni Gymnasium. The public is invited to attend all events associated with the observation of the day free of charge.

The author of Is God a White Racist?: A Preamble to Black Theology, the landmark critique of the black church’s treatment of evil and the nature of suffering, Jones is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of liberation theology, African-American religion, religious humanism and multicultural education. Best known for his contributions to the theory of oppression and conflict resolution, Jones, professor of religion and director of black studies at Florida State University, has written more than 100 articles about oppression, justice, black theology, counter-violence and the role of the church in social change.

Additional events for the day include a drop-in coffee-hour commemorative in the Multicultural Center, on the corner of Campus Avenue and Franklin Street, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., featuring video clips of King’s marches in Chicago to challenge fair housing, an Andrew Young speech highlighting King’s relationship to Benjamin Mays, the Bates class of 1920, and the famous “I Have A Dream” speech from August 1963.

Jones’ talk will be followed by a debate between Bates and Morehouse colleges on the question “Do Students Believe the Dream is Still Alive?” at 12:45 p.m. in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Avenue. Following the debate, a series of concurrent afternoon workshops sponsored by academic departments will be held. The first series, scheduled from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and the second from 3:40 to 4:40 p.m., will take place at locations throughout the campus. A candlelight vigil, “Witness From Around the Globe: Readings in Many Voices,” where participants will read in a variety of languages in testimony to the values of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held on the steps of Hathorn Hall at 5 p.m.

In addition to the workshop sessions, actor and singer Samuel G. Irving of Wilmington, N.C., will perform “A Night With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” a vivid one-man portrayal of the social, political and spiritual climate during King’s life, at 7:30 p.m. in the Olin Arts Concert Hall.

A workshop schedule follows with locations to be announced.

Concurrent Workshops from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Session I

  • Economics: “Lawyers, Guns and Money: Cities vs. Gunmakers
    in the Courtroom”
  • Anthropology: “Redskins, Blackhawks and Braves: What’s in a Name?”
  • Education: “A Forum on Violence in Schools: Is Zero Tolerance the Answer?”

II. Concurrent Workshops 3:30 – 4:40 – Session Two

  • Music: Luciano Berio’s “SINFONIA of 1968: Chaos at
    Lincoln Center,” featuring “O King”
  • Sociology and Psychology: “Violence and the Cultural Environment: Exploring the Relationship”
  • Psychology: “Bystander Apathy: Witnessing Hate and Responding”
  • Women’s Studies: “Supremacy Crimes”
    Related events to the Bates observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day include the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, in the Bates College Chapel, led by guest preacher Dr. Kirk B. Jones, with music for the service provided by Cultured Voices and the Bates Community Gospel Ensemble.Bates also will host a Justice Issues 2000 Film Series with the following schedule. All films will be show in Keck Auditorium, Pettengill Hall.

    Thursday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.
    Film: Black Is…Black Ain’t by Marlon Riggs, introduced by Charles Nero, associate professor of rhetoric.
    Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
    Film: Never Turn Back about Fannie Lou Hamer, introduced by John McClendon, assistant professor of political science and American cultural studies. Also Out of the Past: The Struggle for Gay Rights in America.
    Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m.
    Film: Segments from the award-winning documentary Eyes on the Prize, with an introduction and discussion led by James Reese, associate dean of students.

    In addition, two murals about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement created by introductory drawing students taught by Pamela Johnson, assistant professor of art at Bates, will be on display during the month of January in the Photocopy Room of the George and Helen Ladd Library.

    Bates takes a special interest in events related to King because one of the civil-rights leader’s mentors was the late Benjamin E. Mays, a 1920 Bates graduate. Mays 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 King’s funeral.

    The events at Bates commemorate the birthday of King, who would have been 71 years old on Jan. 15. There will be no classes at Bates Jan. 17 to allow students and the rest of the college community to participate in the public events and discussions in observance of King’s birthday. For further information, call 207-786-6031.

View Comments