By: Max Bruns ~Staff Writer~
Xavier will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by presenting the one-woman show “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story” and showing the documentary, “The Loving Story.”
On Jan. 19, Xavier’s Institute of Spirituality and Social Justice (ISSJ), in partnership with The AMOS Project, Bellarmine Chapel and the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, will host award-winning actress and author Mzuri Aimbaye as she presents of “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story,” which relates historical events surrounding Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
Hamer was an American voting rights activist, a prominent Civil Rights leader and one of the first African Americans to vote in the Civil Rights Movement in 1964 after the passage of the Voter Rights Act.
The show will challenge the audience to think about racial issues in a modern context and is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
“‘The Fannie Lou Hamer Story’ portrays a snapshot of history,” Gillian Ahlgren, director of ISSJ and a Xavier theology professor, said. “The actress transcends our time, transporting us back to 1964 while simultaneously asking us to look at the modern time and explore the important questions about racial integration: Where are we today in the Civil Rights movement?” Ahlgren said.
Also scheduled for the weekend is the tribute documentary on Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Loving Story,” presented by the history department.
On Jan. 18, the film will be shown and discussed during the event, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” in Kennedy Auditorium.
“I think it’s really important for events like this to be accessible to the public, which is why the tickets, normally $20, are going to be free,” Algren said.
“We’re expecting about 300 people.” The presentation of the show and the film is meant to promote dialogue among the attendees.
“Social justice needs to be an active conversation, which is why after the show is over there will be three panelists, Damon Lynch from New Prospect Baptist church, Troy Jackson who is a coordinator of the AMOS project and Christina Brown from CHRC to answer questions from the audience,” Ahlgren said.
The weekend’s events will entirely surround the 50th anniversary of the Voter Rights Act and MLK day.
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