The editor of one of the nation's largest black magazines will be the featured speaker Saturday at a banquet at Kansas University that will mark the beginning of a citywide celebration of Martin Luther King Day.
The talk by Susan L. Taylor, editor of Essence magazine, opens a three-day series of activities to honor the memory of the slain civil rights leader.
Other events are:
Sunday, Jan. 17: A gospel music festival at 6 p.m. at the Lawrence High auditorium, 19th and Louisiana. A local Mass Youth Choir will be featured along with other local performers.
Monday, Jan. 18: A commemorative service at 2 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. E.V. Hill, a television evangelist and pastor of Los Angeles' Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
In addition, there will be performances of the Original King Kids from Fort Worth, Tex. The members, who have received many awards for their oratory and musical skills, will perform at Saturday's banquet and at the commemorative service Jan. 18.
The Martin Luther King celebration is sponsored by Lawrence's Ecumenical Fellowship, Inc., and this year's theme is Building a Healthy Community (Courage to Dare).
AS A SPECIAL attraction for this year's celebration, the Ecumenical Fellowship is forming a Mass Youth Choir, which is open to all local schoolchildren. The choir was planned as a way to involve youths in the King Day celebration.
The Rev. Charles Kennybrew, pastor of Ninth Street Baptist Church and chair of the King Day events, said, "We want the entire Lawrence community to be a part of this experience. That is why we are making a special reach to include as many of our youths as will participate.''
All events for the three days are open to the public and only the banquet on Saturday requires tickets.
The banquet featuring Ms. Taylor, will begin at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Kansas Union at KU.
All student tickets to the talk by Ms. Taylor are free, but student tickets for banquet meals are $10. Adult tickets are $20 for the combined event, or $10 for adults who only want to attend the Taylor lecture. Tickets are available at Cross Reference Bookstore, KU's Minority Affairs office, the SUA office at KU or by calling 843-8913 or 749-0835.
TAYLOR HAS been editor-in-chief of Essence since 1981. The New York-based magazine got its start in 1970, and Taylor has called it a lifeline for black women.
The Rev. Hill, the keynote speaker at the commemorative service on Jan. 18, has been pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles for 31 years. He also is a board member of the Billy Graham Assn. and conducts his own television ministry in Los Angeles.
Other sponsors of the local King Day celebration are KU's Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, Haskell Indian Junior College, the city of Lawrence, Douglas County, KU Black Student Union, Lawrence School District 497, KU Office of Minority Affairs, and the KU School of Journalism.