Wotta country! On the same day we honored the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., an extension of the slain civil rights leader's dream–the presidency of Barack Obama–was realized with the second term inauguration.
But as UC Irvine celebrates King with events through Jan. 31, it is the legacy of another slain civil rights leader that will be explored this evening in UCI's Student Center. Because while King saw an America where a black man could rise to become president, Malcolm X saw firsthand the flip-side reality of fears of blacks, Islam and Muslims.
Sohail Daulatzai, an extensive writer and editor on the subject of Hip-Hop, the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim
International and Black Freedom beyond America (2012) and a UCI associate professor in the Film and Media Studies Department and African American Studies program, speaks at 6 p.m. in Crystal Cove Auditorium on "Return of the Mecca: Muslims, Multiculturalism, and the Enduring Legacy of Malcolm X."
Here is the event description:
As the nation celebrates the King holiday and coronates Obama for a second term, the legacy of Malcolm X continues to haunt the American present. While some view Obama as the "post-racial" Dream, others see him as the closet Muslim, a racial panic that combines post-9/11 anxieties around Muslims with that larger assault on Blackness in the post-Civil Rights era. But this fear of Blackness, Islam and Muslims is not new in the United States. In fact, Obama's Blackness and his "proximity" to Islam is really a deeply seated anxiety around Malcolm X. As this talk will reveal, there was a pre-history to 9/11, a history when Blackness, Islam and the politics of the Muslim Third World found common cause, and it was Malcolm X who was its rebel sage, shining light on a landscape of hope that has profound implications for challenging the present, where endless war is waged, racism persists and inequality deepens.
Daulatzai's address and book signing are free, but while parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure at West Peltason and Pereira drives, the fee is $10.
Meanwhile, remaining free MLK Symposium events on the campus that observed a day of community service Monday include:
- Eugene Jerecki's documentary The House I Live In, which explores the U.S. prison population through the lens of the War on Drugs, screening at 6 tonight in the Cross Cultural Center's Dr. Joseph L. White Conference Room.
Writer-activist Elaine Brown, the first and only female leader of the Black Panther Party, delivering the Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture, where she'll put the words and actions of King later in life in the context of today to argue he would have fought for gun control, wealth redistribution and universal health care (a.k.a. the Obama agenda). Brown's free speech begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Center's Pacific Ballroom D.
- The Center for Citizen Peacebuilding presenting educator and civil rights movement leader Bernard Lafayette, who teaches people King's non-violent philosophy, at 5 p.m. Thursday in Room 1100 of the Social Science Plaza.
- The Cross Cultural and Student Outreach and Retention (SOAR) centers hosting a Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 29, in Doheny A & B of the Student Center.
- An Interactive Discussion (with food!) on black feminism, civil rights and social justice at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Cross Cultural Center's Ring Room.
Phone 949.824.7215 or visit ccc.uci.edu/mlk/ for more details on these events.