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History buffs take note

Raleigh's celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will feature something very special this year - the 50th anniversary of the founding of SNCC, which happened here in Raleigh.  The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee played a key role in events of the time.  One of the founding students, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., will give the keynote address at the noon observance on Monday, January 18.  He will be introduced by another founder, Rev. Dr. David Forbes.  From an email by Mr. Bruce Lightner:
"One of the young students who participated in the 1960 SNCC conference was Dr. David Forbes, pastor of Raleigh's Christian Faith Baptist Church. Forbes proclaimed, "The founding of SNCC was a pivotal moment for us. It helped provide the infrastructure for training, coordination and leadership which was needed to sustain the movement to end segregation." At the time, Forbes was a student at Shaw University.

The Raleigh King Committee is bringing back another student who was in Raleigh during the 1960 SNCC conference. As a student at Fisk University in Nashville, Bernard LaFayette was establishing himself as an articulate and energetic scholar of nonviolent protests. He was the leader of the Nashville Movement and the 1960 Freedom Rides through Alabama. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962 and helped organize the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Alabama which was a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966 Dr. King appointed LaFayette to the post of National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Dr. LaFayette will be the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Noon Ecumenical Observance on January 18 in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. His speech will kick off recognition of SNCC's anniversary in the same building where students organized 50 years ago."
Remember that CUCC folks will gather for the march in front of the history museum at 10:45.
Here is a complete list of MLK celebration events.  This year's emphasis is on gang prevention.