Annual MLK Lecture

Lynn Carson—You know how every time you watch the Princess Diaries, you wish that Julie Andrews was your grandma? I now feel that way about poet and activist Nikki Giovanni. For those of you who don’t know who she is, she was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, hung out and fought with all the people you learned about in your kindergarten February history units, and continues to be an active advocate and writer. As if that isn’t cool enough, she’s also spunky as hell and the best speaker I have had the opportunity to see here at Brockport. (And I see a lot of speakers.)

Every year, Brockport hosts a Black History Month lecture. This year, we had the honor of hosting Giovanni, who’s a pretty big name. Sometimes, big names can be disappointing because they’ve been so hyped up. However, I can’t imagine anyone was disappointed in her lecture. She shared stories from her own experiences, particularly at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She knew when humor was necessary and when she should just let a story sink in. She shared her poetry. Overall, she was an A++ speaker, and if you ever have the opportunity, I would highly recommend going to see her lecture.

Oddly enough, I enjoyed not only the lecture, but the introductions as well. The African American Studies department had a huge hand in the lecture and did most of the introductions, which were nearly as interesting as the lecture itself. One man, rather than giving a speech, sang. (He had a beautiful voice.) If I have the time, I may take a class in the department.

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