Renowned ASCAC historian to keynote King observance

Dr. Leonard Jeffries

Dr. Leonard Jeffries

Author, historian and Professor Dr. Leonard Jeffries will be the keynote speaker on Monday, January 20, 2014 at the 13th Annual “King Fest” Celebration to be held at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center, 3020 West Vliet Street beginning at 12 p.m.

“King Fest” is in recognition of the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. According to event organizer Janette Herrera, this celebration is in honor of a man who was, “committed to peace, justice and equality,” and in the effort to gain civil rights for all, “he emphasized the importance of determination to achieve freedom and human equality.”

The video “Reflections 50 Years Later” will be shown from 12 to 2 p.m. at which time vendors may also prepare their tables for the occasion.

Spoken Word sharing, African drumming and scholarship presentations are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Scholarship awards are in recognition for excellence in the essay writing contest.

Students entered are asked to focus their 550 word limit in response to the question: “What three main problems in our society do you think Dr. King would be trying to solve if he were alive today?”

Open to students in the 12th grade who reside in the City of Milwaukee and are enrolled in a school, either public or private, within Milwaukee were eligible to compete.

Two scholarships of $500 each will be awarded to winners – male and female – at the “King Fest” gathering.

The awards will be given to the students after graduation with the criteria that he/she is officially enrolled in a college or university. The keynote address will follow the scholarship recognition.

Affectionately referred to by his students and by members of ASCAC (the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization) as a leading voice and theoretician in African Centered education, Dr. Jeffries is highly regarded as a foremost authority on Africa, having traveled to the Motherland over 100 times.

He has been crowned Chief and leader among the Ashanti Nation in Ghana and is dedicated to the understanding and instruction of the proper and correct historical placement of the African presence on the world stage of time and achievement.

He is a founding director of ASCAC and a former president of the African Heritage Association (AHSA).

His scholastic journeys have taken him to the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Brazil, Switzerland and throughout the Caribbean.

Jeffries became a political science instructor at the City College of New York (CUNY) in 1969 and received his doctorate in 1971 with a dissertation on politics in the Ivory Coast.

He became founding chairman of Black Studies at San Jose State College in California and later served as tenured professor at CUNY and chairman of the newly found African American Studies Department.

He speaks fluent French and Russian and has led numerous pilgrimages to Africa, thereby introducing countless teachers, students, ministers, politicians, and writers to the continent.

The “King Fest” celebration will truly be stimulating and memorable, particularly given the resounding spirited remarks of its keynote, Dr. Leonard Jeffries.