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Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2005

Curry lecture highlights events to remember King at IU Bloomington

George E. Curry

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and of and a syndicated columnist with a combined readership of 15 million people, will speak at Indiana University Bloomington on Jan. 17 at the headline event in a busy and diverse campus celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The public is welcome to attend the event, which will begin at 5 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Frank Motley, associate vice chancellor of the Office for Academic Support, will introduce Curry, and IU President Adam W. Herbert will deliver welcoming remarks.

All of the events celebrating King's life are free. They include panel discussions, musical performances, a film festival and a day of educational programming for local school children. Many IU Bloomington students will use the day to honor King's legacy by volunteering in the community.

Curry's column is distributed by NNPA to more than 200 African American newspapers each week. His work at NNPA has ranged from being inside the Supreme Court during the University of Michigan affirmative action cases to traveling to Doha, Qatar, to report on the U.S. war with Iraq. In Doha, he was seen by billions of television viewers around the world, the lone African American among more than 300 reporters at the daily news briefing. While in the Persian Gulf, Curry obtained the first exclusive interview with Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks after the fall of Baghdad.

Prior to joining NNPA, Curry was editor-in-chief of Emerge, Black America's newsmagazine from 1993 until 2000. He is past president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the first African American and non-New York-based editor to hold the association's top office. He also was New York bureau chief and a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and was a reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Sports Illustrated.

He is the author of Jake Gaither: America's Most Famous Black Coach (Mead, 1977), editor with Cornel West of The Affirmative Action Debate (Addison Wesley, 1996) and editor of The Best of Emerge Magazine (Ballantine, 2003). He is the editor of an anthology to be published in early fall tentatively titled, Fit to Print? Jayson Blair, the New York Times and Twenty-First Century Journalism. Curry also contributed to Walter Mosley's anthology, Black Genius: African American Solutions to African American Problems (W.W. Norton, 2000).

Other events centered around King Day include the following:

-- Civil rights activist and award-winning author Constance Curry will be the featured speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's annual celebration on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington. The community celebration also will feature music by the IU African American Choral Ensemble and David Baker, Distinguished Professor of Music and director of jazz studies in the IU School of Music.

Constance Curry (no relation to George Curry) worked between 1965 and 1974 to desegregate Mississippi schools and to increase voter registration among Black Mississippians through her role as a field representative for the American Friends Service Committee. She was director of human services for the City of Atlanta from 1975-90.

Since her retirement, she has produced a documentary film, The Intolerable Burden, and four books: The Fire Ever Burning (University Press of Mississippi, 2000), Mississippi Harmony: Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (University of Georgia Press, 2002) and Silver Rights (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1995), for which she won the Lillian Smith Award for nonfiction.

-- "A Day On, Not a Day Off," a massive volunteer effort organized in cooperation with a number of nonprofit agencies, IU and the City of Bloomington, will be held all day on Jan. 17.

-- Bloomington students will take a trip on Jan. 15-16 to the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the motel where King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

-- The IU School of Education's Second Annual King Activity Day with Children, sponsored by the Dean's Advisory Council, will be Jan. 17 in the School of Education Atrium. Approximately 60 elementary-age students from the Banneker Center and Girls Inc. will participate in a variety of educational activities throughout the day including math, art and music activities. Additional activities will involve the Puck Players Puppet Show, the Mathers Museum of World Culture, the Center for the Study of Global Change, Mbira music played by a visiting student from Zimbabwe, and a storytelling session. After celebrating King's birthday with a cake, the children will watch a film on the civil rights leader's life. For more information or to volunteer, contact Leana McClain at An MLK Kids Crafts Fair will take place Jan. 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the coffeehouse of IU's Collins Living Learning Center, located at the corner of Woodburn Avenue and 10th Street.

-- An interfaith prayer service will be held on Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union.

-- A Unity Summit in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., is scheduled on Jan. 17 from noon to 2 p.m.

-- A series of panel discussions will take place between Jan. 13 and Jan. 27, including "Campus Life in the '60s and '70s," on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. in Briscoe Residence Center; "If You Are Going to Sit, Sit for Something," on Jan. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in Eigenmann Residence Center; "One Struggle, Many Fronts," on Jan. 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. in the Latino Cultural Center and Jan. 21 at noon in the Asian Culture Center; "Martin Luther King Jr.: Has His Dream Been Deferred or Fulfilled?" on Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Main Library Media Showing Room; "The Black Community Today," on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; "Harambee: Student Development Forum," on Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; and "Do You Have Sense to Make Change?" on Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Read Residence Center.

-- IU Libraries will present an all-day film festival at the IU Main Library Media Showing Room on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Films will include The Blackboard Jungle, The Defiant Ones, Carmen Jones and A Raisin in the Sun.

For more complete information, go to or contact the IU Office of Academic Support and Diversity at 812-855-9632.