The Promised Land? Barack Obama and Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’

Swansea University Public Lecture, 21 October, 6.30 pm. Wallace Lecture Theatre. Attendance free, all welcome.

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The Promised Land?
On 21 October 2013 as part of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) public lecture and event series, and to coincide with Black History Month, SwanseaUniversity will host a free public lecture focussing on Barack Obama and Martin Luther King’s dream for America.

‌Given by Chris Marshall, a doctoral research student and Strategic Projects Manager at the University, the one-hour lecture explores how Obama has positioned himself as the heir to Martin Luther King, and how he has written himself into the narrative of the American Civil Rights movement.

Chris said, “Forty-five years after the March on Washington, the first African American to be elected to the Presidency would be hailed as the fulfilment of Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ – an association Obama actively encouraged during his election campaign.

“What this lecture will explore, in the fiftieth anniversary year of Dr King’s iconic speech, is how Obama consciously inserted himself into the Civil Rights timeline by presenting himself as the leader who would take his people into the ‘Promised Land’ of racial equality guaranteed by the US Constitution. It will also look at what his election has really meant for race relations in America.”

Starting on the 1 October and celebrated each October in the UK, ‘Black History Month’ aims to promote knowledge of black history and is a cultural celebration, and remembrance, of those communities throughout the world that have made an important contribution over the centuries; now thousands of cultural events take place each October as part of this celebration.

Deputy Director of RIAH, Dr Elaine Canning said, “Chris Marshall’s lecture on the association between Obama and the fulfilment of Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ is timely as we remember both the fiftieth anniversary of Dr King’s speech this year and Black History Month. This promises to be a fascinating lecture on an extremely topical subject.”

The lecture, on the 21 October, will start promptly at 6.30 pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building, Swansea University; light refreshments will be served from 6pm. Attendance is free and all are welcome to attend.

The lecture forms part of the RIAH public lecture and event series that has welcomed many notable names. This year’s programme will feature broadcaster Huw Edwards, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan.

For more information:

Email: riah@swansea.ac.uk - Tel: 01792 295190