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When MLK and the KKK Met in Raleigh: Jason Miller
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When MLK and the KKK Met in Raleigh
Sharing never-before-seen photos recently recovered from his archival research, Professor of English Jason Miller contextualizes Martin Luther King, Jr.’s only appearance at NC State University, in July 1966, within the framework of an 1,800 person KKK rally in downtown Raleigh. This intentional counter-protest stole the headlines and continues to inform the fact that few in the NC State community even know about Dr. King’s appearance at Reynolds Coliseum. Tracing the FBI record reveals that the Klan marchers invoked the visual rhetoric of the state capitol’s monument dedicated “To our / Confederate Dead,” and openly initiated young children into the glorification of white supremacy. Moreover, four Christian churches publically denounced King in newspaper advertisements and then unashamedly preached from the pulpit that he was a Communist on the Sunday of his visit. Dr. King’s speech in 1966 is a stark reminder of the ways violence, anger, and hatred surrounded him in the last years of his life.
This talk is presented as part of NC State’s Department of English Speaker Series.
Dr. Jason Miller is Professor of English at NC State University where his research interests include tracing Dr. Martin Luther King’s use of Langston Hughes’s poetry in his speeches and sermons from 1956-68. This research has recently been featured in Our State Magazine. He has just completed the manuscript for a new critical biography of Langston Hughes to be distributed by the University of Chicago Press.
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Tompkins 123
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