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The Dartmouth
May 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

College plans MLK Jr. day events

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dartmouth has planned a series of events, starting Monday and continuing throughout the month.

This year is the first time in its history that New Hampshire has recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

State Representative Jackie Weatherspoon (D-Exeter), who will host a discussion at the College on Monday, was one of the sponsors of the legislation that made the day a public holiday in the state of New Hampshire.

"We are the last state in the country to finally realize that this should be a public holiday," she said. "Ultimately, it was a question of telling people that they were isolating their children by not exposing them to this global community."

Weatherspoon noted that although people of color make up only one percent of New Hampshire's population, more than 50 languages are spoken every day in the schools of Manchester.

The keynote address at Dartmouth will be presented by New York University Professor of History and Africana Studies Robin D. G. Kelley.

After Monday, events will continue throughout the month of January, culminating with an interdenominational service led by Reverend Delores Carpenter on Jan. 23. Other events being planned by the College include various films, a community dinner with poet Joy Harjo and a student poetry slam on Jan. 20.

The keynote address, entitled "Legacies of Activism, Legacies of Hate," will be delivered by Kelley, who has written several books challenging assumptions about politics and oppression. Kelley has been the recipient of many honors, including the Outstanding Book Award, National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Outstanding Book on Human Rights Award, presented by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the U.S.

Preceding Kelley will be Weatherspoon, who will discuss the role of families and the ways in which her upbringing led her to get involved in politics.

"You listened to your relatives talk politics," she said. "Television was not the central activity in life. Families actually talked."

She will be joined by her uncle, Bill Epton, a colleague of Malcolm X and a founder of the Negro American Labor Council and the Progressive Labor Party.

"American History X," which explores the issue of race hatred, will be shown at the Hopkins Center on Sunday night, and will be followed by a discussion.