A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Veteran actor, activist Danny Glover headlines speakers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Lexington has a date with Danny Glover on Monday.

The actor, director, producer, humanitarian and political activist will speak at Lexington’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance. That’s not unusual for Glover; he often has a speaking engagement on that special day.

“Every day of my life I walk with the idea I am black no matter how successful I am,” Glover has said.

Lexington’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day begins at 10 a.m. with the traditional Freedom March in downtown Lexington, followed by the commemorative program featuring Glover as the keynote speaker at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall. The program also includes Miss Kentucky Clark Davis, a voice performance and political science sophomore at the University of Kentucky. Later, a free showing of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” will run at the Kentucky Theatre at 2:30 p.m.

Actor and activist Danny Glover will speak during the University of Kentucky's observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 (Wikimedia Photo)

Actor and activist Danny Glover will speak during the University of Kentucky’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 (Wikimedia Photo)

Presented by the University of Kentucky, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and other community partners, all events are free and open to the public.

Many know Glover only in his roles in the entertainment industry. With a career spanning more than 30 years, he is indeed one of the most respected actors working today. He is arguably best known for his roles as Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the “Lethal Weapon” series, as Albert Johnson in “The Color Purple,” as cowboy Mal Johnson in “Silverado,” and Michael Herrigan in “Predator 2.”

He also had roles in “Witness,” “Shooter,” “Saw,” “Places in the Heart” and “Angels in the Outfield” as well as dozens of other movies, television shows and theatrical productions.

But it’s the other face of Glover that Lexington will see on Jan. 18.

In August 1963, Glover was an impressionable 17-year-old when King’s “I Have a Dream” speech echoed from the columns of the Lincoln Memorial. He has said at a number of events that Martin Luther King Jr. inspired him as a young man, attributing his commitment to activism and humanitarianism to the legendary social leader…and his parents, who were active in the civil rights movement and the American Postal Workers Union.

The demands made by King and five other prominent civil rights leaders during the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom resonated with the teenager: the end of public school segregation; civil rights legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality; and a $2 minimum wage for all workers.

Later, as a student at San Francisco State University, he joined the Black Student Union and with representatives of other groups, including the American Federation of Teachers, in organizing a five-month student strike for equal educational access and to establish a Department of Black Studies and America’s first School of Ethnic Studies. The strike is still considered the longest student-led strike in America’s history.

Glover’s long commitment to union activism includes support of the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE and the American Postal Workers Union. He has regularly supported a series of political candidates and humanitarian causes around the world. Internationally, Glover has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, focusing on issues of poverty, disease and economic development in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. He currently serves as UNICEF Ambassador.

Drawing from expertise and experience, Glover contextualizes contemporary issues and offers practical wisdom to new generations on building peace, unity and democracy across racial, ethnic and gender lines. His talents promise an inspiring day for Lexingtonians.

“Each year the MLK events remind us to treasure our civil rights and the diversity that makes us stronger, makes us more competitive and enriches our culture,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said.

From UK News Service

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Oscar says:

    Danny Glover also good friend of Hugo Chavez, dictator and humans right violator in Venezuela !!

Leave a Comment