UNO to host fifth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. banquet


By Angie Schaffer

With a new millennium in full swing, the years of slavery in the U.S. may seem distant and the sit-ins and boycotts of Martin Luther King Jr. may not seem relevant to our world today. When was the last time you saw a black family threatened after daring to hope they could sit in the same restaurant as whites?

Addressing this question is only one part of the banquet to be held Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the MBSC Nebraska Room, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The banquet will begin with a brief lecture by Bernard Johnson Sr. of Rising Star Baptist Church, who will discuss the legacy of King and how it relates to people today.

Student organizations adviser Herschel Jackson offers this insight into Johnson’s speech: “[King] had a dream that all people could live in harmony and live together and by holding this program, we’re getting the dream.”

Following Johnson will be a series of student poetry readings, a meal of catfish, musical entertainment and closing remarks by Robert Chrisman, chair of UNO’s black studies department.

A mix of 100 students, faculty and community members are expected the attend the event, the fifth at UNO since the program began in 1998.

After hosting three previous banquets, Jackson believes the celebration is still very significant today.

“[The celebration] allows us to relive the dream … It allows us to get info out to those who have not heard about King and his ideas,” he says.

He also thinks it helps to reach out to students of color and members of the community.

The event has traditionally brought together people of many racial groups, says Jackson.

Tickets are available through today in the business office on the second floor of the MBSC. Ticket prices are as follows:

General Public: $5

Faculty & Staff: $4

Students: $3

The event is sponsored by Cultural Awareness Programs and Student Organizations and Leadership Programs. Call 554-2711 for more information.