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28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture to feature award-winning poet Sonia Sanchez

January 20, 2011

Judy Holmes
(315) 443-8085

Syracuse University’s 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture will feature poet, activist and playwright Sonia Sanchez, who will present “The legacy of Martin Luther King: How we must continue his work” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in Maxwell Auditorium. The lecture, sponsored by the Department of African American Studies (AAS) in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Chancellor, is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Irving garage ($4).

Additionally, AAS will host an open classroom conversation with Sanchez at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, in 219 Sims Hall. The session is free and open to the public.

sanchezSanchez has lectured all over the world on issues of black culture, women’s liberation, peace and racial justice. She taught for more than two decades at Temple University, where she was the first Presidential Fellow and held the Laura Carnell Chair in English. She is a longstanding sponsor of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and is one of 20 African American women featured in “Freedom Sisters,” an interactive exhibition created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition.

Sanchez’s poetry helped define the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. She is the author of more than 16 books, including “Morning Haiku” (Beacon Press 2010); “I’m Black When I’m Singing, I’m Blue When I Ain’t and Other Plays” (Duke University Press 2010), edited by Jacqueline Wood; “Homegirls and Handgrenades” (White Pine Press, new edition 2007); and “Shake Loose My Skin” (Beacon Press 1999).

Sanchez is the recipient of a number of awards. She is the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 Robert Frost Medalist and a Ford Freedom Scholar from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. She received the Robert Creeley award (2009), the Harper Lee Award (2004), the Alabama Distinguished Writer and the National Visionary Leadership Award (2006), the Leeway Foundation Transformational Award (2005) and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award (1990). She also received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (1992-93), the National Endowment for the Arts Lucretia Mott Award (1984), the American Book Award (1985) and the Peace and Freedom Award from Women International League for Peace and Freedom (1989), among others.

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