Kalamazoo College is hosting two open-to-the-public events to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2023. The theme for this year’s festivities is Centering Black Lives: Various Movements, One Purpose. Participants will better understand the past, learn about the present and move toward improving Black communities.
Echoes of the Past by Maxine Maxwell
11:05 a.m.–11:40 p.m. Friday, January 13, Stetson Chapel
Echoes of the Past is a dramatic performance from Maxine Maxwell that examines what it has been like to be Black and female over the past 150 years. The event will explore history to find the turning points in the lives of five African and African American women of remarkable strength and courage. Each character comes with a concise background and narrative along with subtle costume pieces to set the stage. Attend in person or through a live stream.
Maxwell, a native of St. Louis, is a graduate of Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. As an actor, she has toured throughout the country and worked in New York as a solo artist and a member of performing ensembles. Her past credits include the national tour of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enough.
Wakanda: Imagining Black Pasts and Futures by Jonathan Gayles
11 a.m.–Noon Monday, January 16, Dalton Theatre at Light Fine Arts
Jonathan Gayles, a professor and chair of Africana Studies at Georgia State University, engages the history of Wakanda and the Black Panther across a number of medias including comic books and film in Wakanda: Imagining Black Past and Futures.
With an Afrofuturist lens, he uses images and video to challenge the audience to consider the power of media that center Black life. He also considers the potential shortcomings of Wakanda that reflect continuing tensions around the articulation and understanding of Black life, even in imagined spaces.
Attend in person or through a live stream.