University News

MLK scholar Clayborne Carson to deliver UCLA Bunche Center's Thurgood Marshall Lecture

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Clayborne Carson, professor of history at Stanford University and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, will deliver the 2012 Thurgood Marshall Lecture at UCLA on Wednesday, April 4, a day which also marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.
 
The annual public lecture series, named for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, each year features a distinguished scholar, legal practitioner or activist who, like Marshall, has a stellar record of civil rights advocacy and who has made significant contributions to the struggle for civil rights.
 
The event, sponsored by UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at UCLA's Covel Commons Terrace, followed by Carson's lecture at 7 p.m. in the Grand Horizon Room. Carson will be available for media interviews between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
 
Professor Carson has devoted most of his professional life as a historian to the study of Martin Luther King Jr. and the movements he inspired. In 1985, Carson was selected by King's late wife to edit and publish King's papers. Under Carson's direction, the King Papers Project has produced six volumes of a definitive, comprehensive edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications and unpublished writings.
 
A member of Stanford University's department of history since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Carson has edited numerous other books based on King's papers and has sought to bring his research and King's ideas to a broader audience. He was a senior historical adviser for the award-winning, fourteen-part public television series on the civil rights movement "Eyes on the Prize" and co-edited "The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader."
 
Darnell Hunt, director of UCLA's Bunche Center, said Carson's lecture couldn't be more timely.
 
"On April 4, coincidentally 44 years to the day after Dr. King's assassination, we welcome Clayborne Carson back to UCLA, where he earned his Ph.D. in history," Hunt said. "His lecture, which focuses on Dr. King and the global freedom struggle, will undoubtedly remind us of the contemporary relevance and continuing urgency of Dr. King's message." 
 
As this year's honoree, Carson joins a distinguished group of prominent African American leaders who have been invited to deliver the Thurgood Marshall Lecture. Past lecturers have included UCLA alumna and former U.S. congresswoman from Los Angeles Diane Watson, law professor and dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law Christopher Edley Jr., former NAACP chairperson Julian Bond, prominent civil rights activist and lawyer Constance Rice, and renowned attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., among others.
 
To attend the free event, the public can R.S.V.P. to atucker@bunche.ucla.edu or 310-825-4023.
 
The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, established in 1969, is ranked among the nation's top academic research centers in African American studies. The center conducts and sponsors multidisciplinary research on the African American experience, supports the bachelor's and master's degree programs in Afro-American studies, facilitates scholarly activities for faculty and students, administers undergraduate scholarship programs for students majoring in Afro-American studies, and sponsors community service programming.
 
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