Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration with Dr. Harry Edwards
Dynamic lecturer, teacher and author, Dr. Harry Edwards is the featured speaker at the 26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration. Dr. Edwards has a long and storied history of activism focused upon developments at the interface of sport, race, and society. The combination of his experiences as an African-American, as an athlete in the 1960s, and his training in the discipline of sociology led Harry to propose that, by the late 1960s, America had become very complacent about the issue of race in sports. He ultimately called for a Black athlete boycott of the United States 1968 Olympic team in large part to dramatize the racial inequities and barriers confronting Blacks in sport and society. The movement resulted in demonstrations by Black athletes across the nation and ultimately at the Mexico City games – a movement commemorated by a 24-foot high statue on the campus at San Jose State University.
Over his career, Harry Edwards has persisted in efforts to compel the sports establishment to confront and to effectively address issues pertaining to diversity and equal opportunity within its rank. Edwards, a scholar-activist who became spokesperson for what amounted to a revolution in sports, is now considered a leading authority on developments at the interface of race, sport, and society and was a pioneering scholar in the founding of the sociology of sport as an academic discipline.
As part of the Commemoration, Leng Power will present to community activist and advocate for the homeless, Frank Ploof, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for his community service.
Earlier at 4:00 p.m. students are invited to meet Dr. Edwards at the King-Kennedy Memorial Center, 601 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Modesto. At 5:00 p.m. there will a reception open to the public.