The Division of Student Affairs sponsored a Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner on January 24th at 5:30 p.m. in the Tilles Atrium. The program included performances by the Cultural Greek Council and SNAPS. A crowd of 75 people was in attendance. The central room in the Tilles Center was decorated with posters and images of events that were of cultural importance during the 1960s. One poster of “WDAN-TV channel 24 on air show” depicted a broadcasting company that was available over the air in 1959. The Tilles Atrium also had jazz music in a candlelight environment. Mr. William Clyde Jr., director of HEOP/MLK/EAP, welcomed the attendees to the 9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner.
Shortly after his introduction, Provost Paul Forestell, made brief opening remarks by sharing the impact that King’s teachings have made in his life. After Forestell’s personal testimonies about how King’s legacy has affected his as well as other many lives, Clyde emphasized the ability to grow and be appreciative of the fact that many lessons were learned. “It is in this ability to hear people’s pain,” said Clyde. “That the strength to never fall into the trap of compromise will develop.” Students from the Cultural Greek Council then marched into the Tilles Atrium while holding up signs that read “we march for jobs for all now,” “we demand equal rights now,” “we demand voting rights now,” and “no U.S. dough to help Jim Crow grow” among others. As his introduction neared completion, Clyde went on to ask this thought- provoking question, “What would be the legacy of C.W. Post?” He concluded with some words of wisdon including “we walk hand in hand in peace.”
Afterwards, a presentation of King’s famous speech on the 100th anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation was displayed on a screen. King’s speech was an essential part of the civil rights movement that put an end to segregation in order to promote racial harmony. “We cannot walk alone,” says King. “We need to make plans to march ahead.” At the end of his speech King made the following statements: “I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
“King changed black people’s lives in the United States,” commented Jeff Huang, Finance major. Another student, Brandon Fennell, Criminal Justice major, expressed that “King broke racial boundaries.”
Clyde then introduced Father Ted Brown, Director of Religious Life, in an invocation. Afterwards, Clyde invited the audience to a dinner heavily influenced by southern cuisine. The southern meal consisted Catfish, Collard Greens, Mac & cheese, Cornbread, Chicken, Louisiana rice, and Sweet potatoes. After the formal meal in honor of King’s legacy, Clyde introduced Arielle Thomas for a poetry reading. Thomas recited two selections of poetry; an original and another by Lynette Adams entitled “Remember the Times.”
Following her poetry reading, Clyde took the opportunity to thank the committee members, including Martin Guillet of Recreational Sports, Lynne Schwartz of Student Health Counseling, and Eric Zirlinger of Student Life & Leadership Development, and Jared Ciborowski, the SGA President. Shortly after Annie Jules took center stage in a musical selection entitled “Imagine” and received a loud applause. Clyde brought the festivities to an end with closing remarks.