Anderson to host civil rights-related events

Jan. 14—ANDERSON — Anderson will be home to a variety of events focused on pursuing racial equity beginning Jan. 16.

Activities will begin with a gathering in the lobby of Reardon Auditorium at Anderson University.

Students, faculty, and staff, will march toward the Paramount Theatre for the citywide celebration, according to Brian B. Martin, director the Center for Cultural Engagement at AU.

International students will carrying flags representing their home countries during the march.

The AU and community choirs will sing, and AU student Elisa Mendoza will read a poem, said Tamie Dixon-Tatum, an organizer for the 43rd annual citywide celebration.

Delivering the keynote address will be AU professor Dr. D. Wesley Poythress and his wife, Dr. Lauren Poythress.

Continuing the march toward social justice will be the focus, Martin said.

At one point, the Poythress' will discuss a telegraph between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Latin American civil rights leader Caesar Chavez.

Dixon-Tatum said the telegraph provides an example of how people can reach across supposedly dividing lines for a greater purpose.

A CONVERGENCE OF CIVIL RIGHTS GIANTS

Dixon-Tatum said despite efforts to the contrary, a performance of "The Meeting" at Reardon Auditorium was not possible for the 16th.

However, Cultured Urban Winery is sponsoring a performance at Mainstage Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 20-21, and 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, with a community conversation to follow.

The one-act play gives audience an inside look at a fictional meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X where the civil rights icons discuss everything from their families to their vision for racial equality.

In the eyes of many, the two had opposing goals; however, such an assessment is mistaken, according to executive producer Treva Bostic. Both were fighting for equality, but in different ways.

Director Rain Wilson said differences also arose concerning the definition of racial equity. She said King fought for Blacks to be allowed in stores, while Malcolm X wanted them to own stores.

Bostic hopes people will leave with a sense of empowerment to carry on the legacy of the two civil rights leaders by fighting for racial equality in the community.

"Our children are watching us," she said.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at caleb.amick@heraldbulletin.com or 765-648-4254.