Hunter-Gault to keynote the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation at JSU on January 17

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

The Mississippi Link Newswire

Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne Hunter-Gault

The Margaret Walker Center is pleased to announce that Charlayne Hunter-Gault will be the keynote speaker for the 45th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 17, in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium on the JSU campus.

With more than 40 years in the journalism industry, Hunter-Gault, who along with Hamilton Holmes integrated the University of Georgia in 1961,joined NPR in 1997 after 20 years with PBS, where she had worked as a national correspondent for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She joined CNN in April 1999 as the network’s chief correspondent in Africa and was awarded a Peabody in 1998 for her coverage of the continent. In 2005, she returned to NPR as a special correspondent.

Over the years, Hunter-Gault has received numerous awards and citations including two Emmy Awards and three Peabody Awards. In August 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame and holds some three dozen honorary degrees.

Immediately following MLK Convocation, the Margaret Walker Center will honor Hunter-Gault as well as the African American Military History Museum and Dr. David and Mrs. Patricia Crosby of Mississippi Cultural Crossroads with For My People Awards for their contributions to the public preservation of African-American history and culture. The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the JSU Student Center Ballroom.

In large part the vision of Mrs. Iola Williams, the African American Military History Museum aims to educate the public about African-American contributions to the United States military. Opened in 1942, in the segregated army of World War II, the USO Club in Hattiesburg served as a home away from home for African-American soldiers stationed at Camp Shelby. Beginning with the Buffalo Soldiers of the post–Civil War era through the modern-day conflicts of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the museum bears witness to the service and sacrifice of the African-American soldier.

David and Patty Crosby were pivotal players in the formation of Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, a unique and award-winning center that has been recognized as a national model for quilt-related documentation, interpretation, education, marketing, economic development, and community-building in Port Gibson, Mississippi. Now one of the most respected community-based arts organizations in the nation, the organization’s activities include the formation of Crossroads Quilters, Peanut Butter and Jelly Theater, and the annual quilt show, Pieces and Strings.

While MLK Convocation is free and open to the public, tickets for this year’s For My People Awards luncheon can be purchased through the Margaret Walker Center for $10 starting on January 6, 2014.

For tickets, contact the Center’s staff at 601-979-2055 or