University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
January 12 , 2009
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211
USA Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday

The University of South Alabama will commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with information fair and a program featuring guest speaker Dr. Joseph A. Brown, professor and director of the Black-American Studies Program at Southern Illinois at Carbondale, Ill.

The information expo and fair will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 5 p.m., followed by the MLK program at 7 p.m. in the University’s Mitchell Center. Both events will be held at the same location.

The theme for this year’s MLK program, “We are a Nation of Dancers, Singers and Poets…” is taken from the beginning of a passage from the “Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African in 1789.”

Brown, a native of East St. Louis, Ill., is a Jesuit priest who has an extensive academic and pastoral career. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a master’s degree and a doctorate from Yale University. Brown has taught at the University of Virginia and at Xavier University in New Orleans.

He is an active lecturer in the areas of African and African-American spirituality, and African-American history and culture. He consulted on the Renew 2000 project, completing a five-booklet series in adult spiritual development, focusing on Black Catholic spirituality. He was appointed Congress Liturgist for New Orleans and to the National Black Catholic Congress in Chicago.

Brown has published a book of poetry, “Accidental Grace,” and many articles on black theology and literature. He has also published books on spirituality, “A Retreat with Thea Bowman and Bede Abram: Leaning on the Lord,” and “To Stand on the Rock: Meditations on Black Catholic Identity.” In addition, he has written a collection of prayer services in the Black tradition, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”

The 2009 MLK program is sponsored by USA African-American Studies and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

For more information about USA’s annual MLK program, contact Dr. Kern Jackson, director of the USA African-American Studies program, at 460-6146.

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