Muhammad Brings Civil Rights Legacy to Arlington

Dr. Khalil Muhammad, director of New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, will lecture on civil rights in the 21st century in a free event at noon Friday in University Hall, Room 108.  It’s one of several events on campus this week that will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Khalil Muhammad
Dr. Khalil Muhammad

Sponsored in part by the Department of History, the newly created Center for African American Studies (CAAS), and the African American Faculty and Staff Association, Muhammad’s lecture topic will be “What Would King Do?” Organizers said Muhammad, who is the great-grandson of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, can offer students at UT Arlington a unique perspective on the issue of civil rights and tie the past to the present.

“There is a personal attachment to the topic and a unique perspective that will come into play when he speaks,” said Carter Bedford, CAAS’ coordinator of special programs. “It’s so common to see [African American] students at UT Arlington. If this was 1960, we would not have been here … so it’s great to see how far we’ve come. We forget about that struggle because everything is so much easier now. We need to take into account and honor those things that have happened.”

A native of Chicago, Muhammad was a history professor at Indiana University and is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, an exploration of how notions of black criminality were crucial to the creation of modern urban centers. As director of the Schomburg Center, his office curates nearly 10 million artifacts related to the global black experience.

Muhammad will be feted at a special dessert reception Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at the University Club in Davis Hall. Attendees must RSVP with Bedford at cbedford@uta.edu.

UT Arlington is also co-hosting the annual Sharing the Dream awards and scholarship banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at the E.H. Hereford University Center. This year’s theme, “Speak Out. Be Heard. Change the World,” features unique perspectives from community voices including Dr. Marvin Dulaney, associate professor and chair of the Department of History; Marc Marchand, library services manager at the Arlington Public Library; Anthony Douglas, poet and co-founder of the Fort Worth National Poetry Slams; and Tillie Burgin, executive director of Mission Arlington. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is a host of the banquet. Tickets are $40 and are available at utatickets.com.

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