From a rousing choir performance at the Mount Zion First African Baptist Church to a moving speech by UVA history professor and former NAACP chairman Julian Bond, the University’s two-week commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrated the intricacies of his message of racial equality. Those two weeks also allowed UVA to explore its own racial history and honor those individuals who contributed to it.
Bond and W.J. Michael Cody (Law ’61), whose Memphis law firm represented King during a 1968 march for sanitation workers’ rights, shared accounts of the difficult days and steady work of the civil rights movement in the months before King’s assassination. Bond also joined musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte for a conversation at the Paramount Theater, in which Belafonte screened and spoke about Sing Your Song, a documentary film about his entertainment and activism careers.