The Byron & Christine Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series 2003 Theme: The Storyteller /The Griot

The Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series is a component of Johnson Legacy, Inc., a nonprofit organization which offers programs that acknowledge history, honor heritage, and instill hope. This year´s theme alludes to the rich legacy of the African Oral Tradition. The January through April lectures will take place at Park Hill United Methodist Church, 5209 Montview Boulevard, Denver, CO 80207. The May lecture will take place at the new African American Research Library, 2401 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80205. All sessions are free and open to the public; however, donations are accepted.

“I Have a Dream Monument”: History Lesson in City Park
10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Saturday, January 25, 2003
The highly acclaimed Denver sculptor Ed Dwight discusses the “I Have a Dream Monument,” his artistic tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., which was unveiled in City Park last summer. The site where the sculpture is exhibited has become a national tourist attraction, a spiritual sanctuary for Coloradans, and an educational resource for us all.

The Ancestor´s Story: A Spiritual Legacy Untold
10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Saturday, February 22, 2003
Ta´Shia Asanti, celebrated columnist for the Urban Spectrum newspaper and award-winning writer and poet, gives a pivotal lecture in honor of Black History Month. The presentation will entail the historical, religious, and spiritual roots of ancestral reverence, its connection to storytelling and relaying genealogical history in African/African-American families, and the sacred role the griot plays in preserving family history and cultural heritage.

Women in Modernity: Afghan Woman
10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Saturday, March 22, 2003
Renowned performance artist Bina Sharif comes from New York to present the electrifying play she wrote following September 11, 2001. Sharif, a Pakistani-American Muslim actress and playwright, welcomes a discussion of her work following the performance, which highlights the challenges of Muslim women in the world today.

People of Color Speak Out on 9/11 & the War on Terrorism
10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Saturday, April 26, 2003
A panel of distinguished speakers representing diverse ethnic and cultural communities offers thought-provoking and seldom-heard views on global affairs in a history-making dialogue. A bibliography of works by outstanding writers and activists of color which address these issues will be available for participants.

The African American Research Library: A Celebration!
10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Saturday, May 10, 2003
Librarians Terri Nelson and Gwendolyn Crenshaw describe the journey to the completion of the African American Research Library, providing an overview of the archival materials, oral histories, and cultural artifacts housed in the new site. Local singers, poets, and performance artists will be on hand to offer a praisesong for this new facility unique to Denver and the Rocky Mountain area.