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Black Arts and Culture

ODU Observes MLK Day With Community Conversation


Old Dominion University observed its Annual MLK Day with a lively panel discussion Jan. 14 at the Ted Constant Center at 7 p.m.

The topic “Writing a New History: Let’s Talk about our Dream” was moderated by  Addie Richburg, Executive Director of the 400 Years of African American History Commission. Featured as panelists were Verandall Tucker, a descendant of Anthony and Isabella, who are believed to have arrived during the first landing at Point Comfort in Hampton in 1619; Colita Fairfax, professor at Norfolk State University; Rev. Joseph Green Jr., Rector Emeritus of Grace Episcopal Church in Norfolk; and Brenda H. Andrews, Publisher, New Journal and Guide.

Tim Seibles, professor emeritus and former Poet Laureate of Virginia, read a piece written for the event.

As part of the program, nationally acclaimed painter Ted Ellis, unveiled his work highlighting the Tucker Family’s history in relation to the arrival of the first Africans to the shores of Fort Comfort in 1619. Ellis is one of 15 commissioners of the national 400 Years of African American History Commission and is the vice chair. His painting is on display at the ODU Goode Theatre now through March 15.

The program also included the presentation of the Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award by President John Broderick to Dr. Melvina Sumter, associate professor of criminal justice at ODU and the person spearheading the university’s yearlong 400 Years of African American History Commission’s signature “Writing A New History” program. President Broderick was assisted by Hugo A. Owens, Jr.

Musical entertainment was provided Atumpan Edutainment. Others on the program were Dr. Charles E. Wilson, ODU English professor and Dr. Patricia Saunders Nixon, NSU music professor

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