Zellner and West Continue Speaker Series in 2013
Two internationally renowned speakers kick off 2013 during the Chancellor’s Distinguished Speaker Series at Fayetteville State University (FSU).
To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Dr. Bob Zellner will be the guest speaker on January 22, at 6 p.m. Tickets for the public will be available on January 2.
FSU’s Black History Celebration features Dr. Cornel West on February 9, at 1 p.m. This is a change from the previous date and time of February 5, at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available to students on January 7, and to the public on January 22. All tickets can be picked up at the box office located in J.W. Seabrook Auditorium. Only one ticket will be issued per person.
Dr. Zellner was born on April 5, 1939, and raised in south Alabama. Arrested 18 times, he was charged with everything from criminal anarchy in Baton Rouge to “inciting the black population to acts of war and violence against the white population” in Danville, Virginia. From 1963 to 1965, Zellner studied race relations in the Graduate School of Sociology at Brandeis University. During Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 he traveled with Rita Schwerner while taking part in the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC’s) and CORE’s investigation of the disappearance of her husband Mickey, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman.
When SNCC became an all black organization in 1967, Zellner and his wife Dottie joined SCEF, the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) to organize an anti-racism project for black and white workers in the Deep South called GROW, Grass Roots Organizing Work, also called Get Rid of Wallace. GROW built a residential educational facility in New Orleans and began organizing the Gulf coast Pulpwood Association while working in Laurel, Mississippi where a wildcat strike involving black and white Masonite factory workers and woodcutters spread across the southern states.
Following Nixon’s ping pong diplomacy in 1972, Zellner spent six weeks in China visiting paper plants, studying pulpwood harvesting, and lecturing at the National Institute for Minorities in Peking on SNCC, SCEF, and multicultural work in the white community.
Beginning in the mid-60s, Zellner worked on documentary and feature films, traveling to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The film Mississippi Burning so distorted the role of the FBI in the movement that Zellner toured college campuses lecturing on the real history of the struggle. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, far from being heroes of the movement, hounded Zellner’s friend and mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King and launched the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) a U.S. government attack designed to destroy the Freedom Movement.
In 2005, Zellner was a featured Civil Rights luminary in the award-winning documentary Come Walk in My Shoes. The Annual Faith and Politics Congressional Pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama and other sites of the freedom struggle was led by the Honorable John Lewis and filmed by Robin Smith, award winning documentary director and producer and president and founder of VideoAction.
Zellner’s memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek, A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, with Constance Curry and foreword by Julian Bond, was published by New South Books in the November, 2008. In August 2008, the Library Journal gave the book a Red Star Review: “He tells a story that is sometimes horrific, always interesting and ultimately inspirational about a white Southerner’s commitment to racial justice.”
West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show. He is also co-host of the popular radio show “Smiley & West” heard on PRI around the country. The co-hosts have recently co-authored the book titled The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. The new book is a game-changing text on economic injustice in America.
He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films.
West has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory’s Second Rome, Raheem DeVaughn’s Grammy-nominated Love & War: Masterpeace, and most recently on Bootsy Collins’ The Funk Capital of the World. In short, West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.
FSU is the second-oldest public institution in North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina System, FSU has nearly 6,000 students and offers degrees in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
For more information, call (910) 672-1474.