College plans Black History Month events

Peninsula College will observe Black History Month Feb. 26-27 with a series of special events that include classroom visits by a civil rights activist, the screening of two documentary civil rights films and a special noontime lecture on civil rights and the modern day.

The Rev. Ed King will be the featured guest lecturer at all of the events.

He was a white participant in the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the events connected with the film "Freedom Summer."

Community members are invited to meet and talk with King at the Thursday evening showing of the two documentary films and to listen to his Friday noon lecture.

The public events are free and will be held in the college's Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

King is a semiretired professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. In 1963, he was a leader in the historic Woolworth sit_in that took place in that city. He was a good friend and co_civil rights leader with Medgar Evers, who later was assassinated.

The two Thursday films, which begin at 6 p.m., are "Standing on My Sister's Shoulders" and "Freedom Summer." Because of his experiences in the civil rights movement, King acted as a consultant on the development and filming of "Freedom Summer." Immediately following the screening of the two documentaries, he will talk about achievements and set_backs in Mississippi during the civil rights movement and answer audience questions.

The award-winning documentary "Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders," relates the firsthand stories of Mississippi women who risked their lives in the fight for civil rights and emerged as heroines. This is their story of commitment, bravery and leadership in the face of a hostile and violent segregated society.

The documentary includes original interviews with many of the civil rights movement's most remarkable women: Unita Blackwell, a sharecropper turned activist, who became Mississippi's first female black mayor; Mae Bertha Carter, a mother of 13, whose children became the first to integrate the Drew County schools against dangerous opposition; white student activist Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, who not only participated in sit_ins but took a stand on integration by attending an all-black university; and Annie Devine and Victoria Gray Adams who, along with Fannie Lou Hamer, stepped up and challenged the Democratic Party and President Johnson at the 1964 Convention. The film won an award as the Best Documentary Film at the 2004 Pensacola Film Festival.

"Freedom Summer" follows the events of the summer of 1964, including the disappearance and murder of three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, James E. Chaney and Andrew Goodman, and the discovery of their bodies in a dam on a farm near Philadelphia, Miss. The documentary was run as one episode of the History Channel series "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America."

King's Friday noon lecture will be on "Reflections on President Obama and the Civil Rights Era."

Peninsula College's Black History Month special programming is sponsored by the college's Sound of Unity and Magic of Cinema programs and the Christian Club.

King also will be making several appearances at the First United Methodist Church in Port Angeles.

Movies, lecture

What: Documentary movies "Freedom Summer" and "Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders"

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26

What: Guest lecture: "Reflections on President Obama and the Civil Rights Era."

Who: The Rev. Ed King

When: noon Friday, Feb. 27

Where: All at Peninsula College Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles

Cost: Free

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