SUNY Geneseo Commemorating Life of Martin Luther King Jr., Black History Month

GENESEO, N.Y. - The State University of New York at Geneseo has scheduled a series of events this semester to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, which is February.

The Harlem Gospel Choir, the most famous gospel choir in America today, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Feb. 13 in Wadsworth Auditorium.  The choir travels the globe sharing its message of love and inspiration through their music. Tickets are $16 for the general public; $13 for faculty, staff, Geneseo alumni and senior citizens; and $6 for Geneseo students.  They are available online at or by calling 585-245-5873.

Hollis Watkins, co-founder and president of Southern Echo, Inc., will deliver the keynote lecture commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. March 4 in the MacVittie Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. Southern Echo is a grassroots organization fostering positive social change across Mississippi.  Watkins also is a dedicated community organizer in the struggle for racial justice and a Petra Foundation Fellow. Petra Fellows are charged with fighting poverty, discrimination, environmental degradation and violence.

Watkins also will meet with Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education students March 3 and will conduct a workshop for students participating in a CROP Hunger Walk later in the month.

Geneseo English faculty members will celebrate black authors with readings at 5 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Kinetic Gallery. The group will focus on authors Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, Jamaica Kincaid and Derek Walcott. Scheduled to read are Beth McCoy, professor; Tom Greenfield, professor; Graham Drake, associate professor; and Kristin Gentry, visiting assistant professor. The readings are free and open to the public.

An exhibit of photographs by Anthony Barboza opens Feb. 3 in the MacVittie Union's Kinetic Gallery.  The exhibit, titled "Souls of Black Genius: Images of Sound and Vision,"will be on display through March 3 and is free and open to the public. Barboza's exhibit of 60 images features revealing artist portraits from the fields of literature, visual arts and music. It includes photographs of musicians in performance and in rehearsal that reflect the photographer's experiments with light and darkness.  Kinetic Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to midnight; Friday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday noon to midnight. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration events are all sponsored by Genseo's Office of the Provost, Africana/Black Studies program, the Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education, the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, the Office of Residential Life, and the Kinetic Gallery.

Also this semester, the college's Democracy Matters organization and the Africana/Black Studies Program are sponsoring an address at 4 p.m. Feb. 25 by Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of history at The Ohio State University.  Jeffries will focus on "Freedom Politics: From the Black Panthers to Barack Obama." The address is based on Jeffries's newly published book, "Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in the Alabama Black Belt." His address is free and open to the public.

In addition, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Georgina T. Wood, will deliver the college's annual Roemer Lecture at 2 p.m. March 31.  Her topic is "The Dynamic of Law and Development in Ghana: The Case for Judicial Reform in an Emergent Democracy."The lecture is free and open to the public.

The first woman to serve as Ghana's highest-ranking judge, Justice Wood is a judicial reformer who is working to enhance the public's trust in the courts and improve access to the justice system.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
(585) 245-5516