January 31, 2006; updated February 2, 2005
In 1963 and 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave rousing speeches at the University's Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Now, four decades later, the University is still proud to celebrate his life and work.
On Sunday, February 5, at 4 p.m. the University of Minnesota Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs and the School of Music will present the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial concert. The 90-minute concert, which will be held in the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis, is free and open to the public.
MLK lecture to be
On Monday, February 6, King's son, Martin Luther King III, was to present "My Father's Dream, My Mission" at Coffman Union. The event has been resheduled to Monday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m. due to his mother's death. Coretta Scott King died early January 31 at 78. Following her husband's assassination in 1968, Mrs. King devoted her life to carrying out Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s civil rights legacy. She lobbied for a decade to make King's birthday a federal holiday, and in 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law. Three years later, the nation observed the first Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
All tickets purchased for the original date will be honored for the rescheduled date. (For refunds or to buy tickets, visit the Coffman Information Desk.) The event will be held in the great Hall of Coffman Union. For directions, see www.coffman.umn.edu/mlk.
When the University of Minnesota's began in 1980, it was the only tribute of its kind in Minnesota. The University now schedules the concert two weeks following the national King holiday to avoid competing with other local events honoring Dr. King. The late U professor Reginald Buckner is the founder of the U's annual event. Buckner, an accomplished performer, composer, and educator, was also instrumental in establishing the jazz studies program at the University.
This year's lineup will feature performers from the University as well as professional artists from the Twin Cities community. They include jazz singers Bruce A. Henry, Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews; a cappella hip-hop group 7 DAYS; and the University of Minnesota African Music Ensemble, led by Sowah Mensah, a "master drummer" from Ghana, West Africa.