UNH Welcomes Harvard's Randall Kennedy to Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau
603-862-0574

January 6, 2003


DURHAM, N.H. -- Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School professor and author of Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word and Race, Crime and the Law, is the keynote speaker at the University of New Hampshire's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Jan. 27-30, 2003.

Randall Kennedy

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Kennedy is the featured speaker for the program, "The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.," and will participate in a panel discussion about hate words as they relate to language and oppression.

"Kennedy is a leading scholar in U.S. legal history, and a man who served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He can remind us that the Civil Rights struggle was very much about the law," says John Ernest, associate professor of English and chair of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color. "He also is a well-known commentator on hate speech, and therefore has much to bring to our own ongoing community dialogue on these issues."

"So in Kennedy we have someone who represents the struggle for laws that ensure equal rights and opportunities, and we have someone who understands and participates in the ongoing struggle for understanding that must be a part of that legal progress. We have someone who has thought a great deal about social justice -- what it is, what it requires, and how it can be accomplished. We have someone who has spent a long career drumming for justice," Ernest says.

Drumming for Justice: Today's Noisemakers Honor Dr. King's Legacy

Monday, Jan. 27
Spiritual Celebration: An Interfaith Service of the Spirit and Song
7 p.m., Durham Community Church. UNH chaplains, faculty, staff, students and choirs celebrate the legacy of King, who envisioned a beloved community where all are valued and loved, and "justice rolls down like ever-flowing streams." Gospelfest will follow.

Tuesday, Jan. 28: A Day of Celebration
Drumming for Justice Block Party
11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Food Court, Memorial Union Building. Food and live entertainment.

Family Celebration: Children Learn Together
4-7 p.m., Strafford Room, Memorial Union Building. Children and their families are invited to learn about King's life and the change he inspired through art and learning projects. Live entertainment and a MLK Jr. birthday cake.

Wednesday, Jan. 29
Hate Words: Thinking Together About Language and Oppression
2:30-4:30 p.m., MUB Theatre II. Professor Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School, author of the books Race, Crime and the Law and Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, will join panelists for a dialogue facilitated by John Ernest, associate professor of English, coordinator of the African American Studies Minor, and chair of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Keynote: Professor Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School
7 p.m., Johnson Theatre, Paul Creative Arts Center

Thursday, Jan. 30: Day of Service
11 a.m.-2 p.m., Strafford Room, MUB. Community Service Fair. Explore volunteer opportunities with local agencies and participate in on-site service projects.

News Editors: Additional information on these events is available at www.unh.edu/insidescoop/mlk/. For a copy of Kennedy's bio and curriculum vita, contact Lori Gula at 603-862-0574 or lori.gula@unh.edu.


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