Oakton celebrates Martin Luther King’s ‘message’ Jan. 23

(Jan. 11, 2018) The public is invited to celebrate the legacy of noted civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., by attending a free event at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in Room 1610, at Oakton Community College’s Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road.

“The legacy of Dr. King has impacted society in both conventional and unconventional ways. And while King used speech, strategy and human communication to deliver powerful messages of inclusivity, many of today’s leaders, such as Barack Obama, have invoked the art of hip-hop to speak to a new generation,” says Rick Daniels, Oakton’s new director of student life and campus inclusion.

Renowned motivational speaker Bryant K. Smith will present “The Message: Dr. King Speaks to Hip-Hop,” introducing ways that hip-hop artists are similar to King. The audience will be asked to compare strategies used by King and the hip-hop industry that target youth and a greater global community.

A nationally-acclaimed educator, writer, trainer and workshop facilitator, Smith is the author of “Black Not Blind” and “Five: A Story of Human Potential.” Smith’s presentation will provide attendees a historical understanding of the civil rights movement, King’s life and the development of hip-hop as a culture.

“While many are critical of hip-hop as an entertainment medium that celebrates hyper-masculinity, promotes violence and glorifies misogyny, there are innumerable positive aspects that have had an enormous influence on how the current generation receives messages of inclusion and social justice,” Daniels adds.