The Abilene community will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events focusing on the history of the civil rights movement.
The Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action hosted two events focused on the history of the civil rights movement this week.
At the first event, on Wednesday, attendees joined the Carl Spain Center in watching “Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story,” a documentary on the life of theologian, Howard Thurman, who used his expression of religion to spark change during the civil rights movement.
The documentary was followed by a panel session featuring Martin Doblmeier, the documentary filmmaker.
The Carl Spain Center hosted its second event on Thursday with the help of the Department of History and Global Studies – a lecture led by Dr. Julie L. Holcomb, graduate program director and associate professor of museum studies at Baylor University.
Holcomb’s lecture, titled “Fit for Freedom, Fit for Friendship: African American and Quaker Cooperation in the Antislavery Movement,” discussed the history of the civil rights movement and the importance of social change.
Dr. Ron Morgan, chair of the Department of History and Global Studies, said he hopes the students in attendance will emerge challenged to translate their Christian faith into action toward social change.
“I hope they gain a greater awareness of the importance of social action that is the fruit of Christian conviction and the importance of interracial friendship and partnership in combating racism, complacency in the church, and other social ills,” Morgan said.
Morgan said the Carl Spain Center will continue to bring events to campus to raise awareness with the help of the university’s new options for minors in gender and multicultural studies, Latin American studies, and European cultural studies.
“We are excited to be enriching the life of our community with more attention to the social world around us,” said Morgan.
The city of Abilene will host multiple events on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The annual Martin Luther King march will begin on Highway 80 at the King Memorial and pass over the MLK Bridge on Monday from 1-3 p.m.
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Celebration will take place on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Abilene Convention Center. The celebration will feature Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Texas house representative, as the guest speaker.
Tickets are $37 for an individual and $350 for a table.