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Brockport / AAS / MLK Lecture Series

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture Series

The purpose of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture is to bring a scholarly examination of some aspect of the African American experience to Brockport and the surrounding community. Typically, the subject relates to King’s vision of the "beloved community,” in which all persons must be able to live harmoniously, brotherly, and sisterly. In our contemporary global village, this concept of “the beloved community” must necessarily be extended to include cultural, psycho-social, and intellectual diversities.

To this effect, the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture series has invited to the Brockport campus activists, academicians, public and private intellectuals to critically examine the meanings of The Beloved Community from their own eclectic backgrounds and proclivities.

Nikki Giovanni Delivers the
2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture
at The College at Brockport

Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. Over the past 30 years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.

Giovanni was born in Knoxville, TN, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, OH. She graduated with honors from Fisk University in 1968, after which she attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, in 1968 and a second book within the next year, thus launching her career as a writer. Early in her career, she was dubbed the “Princess of Black Poetry,” and over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing, she has come to be called both a “National Treasure” and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.”

Giovanni’s honors and awards have been steady and plentiful throughout her career. The recipient of some 25 honorary degrees, she has been named “Woman of the Year” by Mademoiselle magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal and Ebony magazine. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award, and she has also been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. She has received Life Membership and Scroll from The National Council of Negro Women. Black Enterprise named her a Women of Power Legacy Award winner for work that expands opportunities for other women of color. The author of some 30 books for both adults and children, Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

Past Speakers

Feb.  2013
Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle, President,
Distinguished Pastor, Professor, Colgate
Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Watch the Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle MLK Lecture
Feb. 2012
Rev. Dr. James L. Netter, Ministerial
Trailblazer, Civil Rights Leader, Civic and
Community Leader
Watch the Rev. Dr. James L. Netter MLK Lecture
Feb. 2011
Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., William S. Tod
Professor of Religion and African American
Studies, Department of Religion and Chair,
Center for African American Studies
Watch the Dr.Eddie S. Glaude MLK Lecture 

Feb. 2009
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor of African
Studies at California State University, Long Beach

Feb. 2008
Joe Rogers, the second black Lieutenant
Governor of Colorado (1999-2003); and Founder
of The Dream Alive Program, a dedication to the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr.

Jan.  2007
Dr. Judy Scales-Trent, Professor of Law, The
State University of New York at Buffalo

Feb. 2006
Ilyasah Shabazz, Daughter of the Pan-Africanist
Malcolm X, founder of the OAAU (Organization
of Afro-American Unity)

Jan.  2005
Dr. Horace Campbell, Professor, African
American Studies and Political Science at
Syracuse University

Feb.  2004
Maya Angelou, autobiographer and poet
Feb. 2003
Randall Robinson, author of The Debt: What
America Owes to Blacks
Feb.  2002
Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., founder of the MLK, Jr.
Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Jan.  2001
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of
Sociology, Georgetown University; author and
radio show host
Feb. 2000
Eugene Robinson, Columnist and
Associate Editor at The Washington Post, and
author of Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey to
an Affirmation of Race (1999)
Jan. 1999
Dr. C. Aisha Blackshine-Belay, Professor and
Chairperson, African and African-
American Studies Department, Indiana

Feb. 1998
Dr. James Turner, Professor, Africana Studies
and Research Center, Cornell University

Jan. 1997
Dr. Micere M. Githae Mugo, Professor,
African American Studies, Syracuse University

Jan. 1996
Councilman Michael Julian Bond, City
Council, Atlanta, GA
Jan. 1995
Dr. George B.N. Ayittey, Professor of
Economics, the American University,
Washington, DC

Jan. 1993
Dr. Orlando Patterson, Professor of Sociology,
Harvard University

Jan. 1992
Professor Elliot Skinner, Franz Boas Professor of
Anthropology, Columbia University

Jan. 1991
Bell Hooks, Author and feminist, English
Department at Berlin College, OH

Jan. 1990
Judge Constance Baker Motley, United States
District Judge, United States District Court,
Southern District of New York

Jan. 1988
Dr. Frank G. Pogue, Vice Chancellor for
Student Affairs and Special Programs, State
University of New York

Jan. 1987
Dr. James Comer, Professor,
Child Psychiatry, Yale University

Jan. 1986
Dr. Bernard Gifford, Dean, School of
Education, University of California at Berkeley
Jan. 1985
Dr. James Evans, Professor, Colgate
Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Last Updated 6/23/14