Martin Luther King To Be Honored With Music, Dance And Spoken-Word At UTC

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - by Shawn Ryan, UTC

Hope, unity, social justice, a sense of community, a frank discussion of race.

Those are some of the themes to be presented during “O, King,” an event focusing on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Taking place the day after what would’ve been King’s 89th birthday and in the 50th year since his assassination in Memphis, “O, King” offers a variety of music, dance and spoken-word performances centered on the central messages from the civil rights icon.

“We still have people fighting those same fights, and his vision was to bring people together and that’s our goal,” says Mo Baptiste, co-chair of “O, King” and executive director of Student Development at UTC.



The event gives the performing artists “a way to express what Dr. King and his beliefs meant to them,” he says. “The arts are a wonderful way to express those feelings.”

Groups performing at “O, King” include the Chattanooga Boys Choir, the McCallie Men’s Chorus, the UTC Chamber Singers, the Littleton H. Mason Singers, a step show by the Eta Phi chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a dance performance by UTC student Taylor Freeman and a spoken-word performance by UTC staff member Terrence Banks.

Dr. King’s vision included a sense of hope, unity, social justice and community, all aiming at the same goal in the civil rights struggle.

Dr. Jonathan McNair, the other co-chair of the event and a Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of American Music, says those themes include hope, unity, social justice and building a sense of community.

“Hope keeps you going; it keeps you alive; it keeps your human spirit alive,” he says. “Hope is very much needed right now considering what’s going on in our world and in our country.

“We need to be acknowledging and recovering a sense of unity. We have to keep a light shining on efforts for social justice. We need to be building a stronger sense of community here in Chattanooga,” he says.

There also is a serious need in the U.S. for “really frank and candid discussions around racial issues. We cannot avoid it. It’s real.”

The U.S. is experiencing a lot of change these days, which makes many people nervous, Mr. Baptiste says.

“I think we tend to be afraid of change when change is inevitable.”

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16 in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center.  Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit www.utc.edu/music.



Fletcher Bright Recognized By DAR For Historical Preservation Work

Fletcher Bright received the 2018 TSDAR Historical Preservation Medal posthumously at the TSDAR State Conference. Nominated by the Chief John Ross Chapter, NSDAR, Mr. Bright received the chapter award on Dec. 18, just days prior to his death.    Chief John Ross Chapter Regent Jessica M. Dumitru accepted the Tennessee’s highest historical preservation award for the Bright ... (click for more)

CARTA Announces Memorial Day Schedules

In observance of Memorial Day, CARTA’s fixed route, Downtown Shuttle and North Shore Shuttle bus services will operate on Saturday schedules on Monday, May 28. The CARTA Care-a-van will also be operating on a holiday schedule.  Additional information on CARTA’s routes, schedules and services may be obtained by calling the CARTA Information Line at (423) 629-1473, TDD users ... (click for more)

Witnesses Say Donaldson Was Calm After Killing Son-In-Law - "I'm Just Sitting Here Waiting For The Law"

Witnesses said Glen Allen Donaldson was calm after killing his son-in-law on Dec. 29, 2016, saying, "I'm just sitting here waiting for the law." Donaldson, 57, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of 39-year-old Adam Levi. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole was told that Donaldson left the residence on Niles Terrace where Levi was living and drove ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Served Time For Attempted Murder Now Facing Armed Robbery Charge

A Chattanooga man who earlier served time for an attempted first-degree murder is now facing an armed robbery count. Garion Devilliar Lewis Jr., 33, is charged with aggravated robbery as well as drug and gun counts. In an incident on May 9, a man who no longer lives in Chattanooga said he was leaving his mother's residence on Sholar Avenue when he saw a man he knows across ... (click for more)

Refuting Racism

In an opinion piece, 5/18/18, Rev. Josh Woodrow referred to me and my fellow School Board member, Joe Smith, as racists and white supremacists because we spoke out against busing. I have never met or spoken with Rev. Woodrow so he knows nothing about me. The reverend obviously knows nothing about Joe Smith either. Seems one of the reverend’s hobbies is “brewing beer”. Maybe, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Don’t Invent, Discover!’

When Randy Boyd stood in front of more than 75 black ministers in Memphis on Tuesday, the ever-dynamic “doer of deeds” told the pastors an exciting story. He talked about “First Things First” of Chattanooga because the Tennessee gubernatorial candidate is totally sold on what Julie Baumgardner and her team have proven keeps families together. Boyd then met with some representatives ... (click for more)