To nail his role as Martin Luther King Jr. for Cleveland State University's annual Martin Luther King Jr./Rosa Parks Celebration, Prester Pickett has plowed through scores of the civil rights leader's speeches. "So many of his speeches are relevant today, and the serious issues he addressed are still present," says Pickett, who also heads CSU's African American Cultural Center. "The relevance of those speeches from another period of time is what contributes to his legacy."
The tribute starts with an outdoor procession around campus to the University Center Auditorium. Inside, dances, poems, and a keynote address will memorialize both King and Parks, who died in October. "She was not the first African American woman who stood up or, actually, sat down for civil rights by refusing to give up her seat," says Pickett. "But by strategically partnering with the NAACP, she became the queen of the civil-rights movement." Still, Pickett's surprised that some students have never heard of either activist. "We have to educate those who don't know," he says. "There's more work to be done."
Thu., Jan. 19, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.