WHAT: To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Bellevue College will host rap artist and activist Chuck D and his wife, Gaye Theresa Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of Black Studies, for a presentation titled “Where Do We Go From Here…Chaos Or Community.” The event is sponsored by BC’s Multicultural Services, the Black Student Union, and other campus organizations.
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 17; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a reception to immediately follow.
WHERE: Carlson Theater on Bellevue College’s campus, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE.
COST: The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact BC’s Multicultural Services at (425) 564-4064.
- Chuck D, a rapper, author, producer and activist, is credited with helping to create politically and socially conscious rap music in the 1980s as the leader of the famous rap group Public Enemy. In addition to his own music, he has collaborated on songs and albums with many famous artists, including Janet Jackson, Run-DMC, Ice Cube and John Mellencamp. He frequently counters the negative views associated with rap music, and is politically active, having testified before Congress in support of peer-to-peer MP3 sharing, and spoken out against conflict diamonds used in fashion and the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Johnson is an associate professor of Black Studies, as well as an affiliated faculty member in the departments of History and Chicana/o Studies, at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, and her areas of expertise are 20th century U.S. history; race and racism; and cultural history with an emphasis on music. Johnson is active with the Los Angeles Community Action Network’s struggle for housing and civil rights on LA’s Skid Row.
- The Thursday event is part of a week-long celebration of Dr. King’s life that will include participation by students, faculty and staff in the 31st Annual MLK Rally and March in Seattle, as well as forums, discussions and presentations on a variety of topics.