A timely address by an award-winning University of Massachusetts Lowell historian will keynote Bedford Embraces Diversity’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day community observance, planned for the morning of Jan. 18 on Zoom.
Dr. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, associate professor of history, plans to explore “the historical roots of white supremacy in the US, focusing on the period after the Civil War, during which policies such as segregation and disfranchisement were put into effect.”
A link to the commemoration will be provided to those who register at firstname.lastname@example.org. The formal program will begin at 9:30 am; the meeting will open at 9.
Also featured at the event will be vocalist Aniyah Certain, a Bedford High School senior, whose selections will include familiar inspirational music. Local educator and historian Joseph Zellner will provide an introduction and the agenda includes a tribute to unarmed African-Americans killed during 2020.
Prof. Herbin-Triant, a past winner of the UMass Lowell History Department’s Teaching Award, is working on a book examining antebellum Lowell’s textile factory owners’ support for slavery alongside the growing abolitionist sentiment in the city.
She said her talk on Monday “will draw connections to what took place in the Capitol last week, paying particular attention to the politics of white grievance.”
Aniyah Certain, who sang the national anthem before home football games at Bedford High School in 2019, said one of her selections will be the inspirational “Rise Up,” which Andra Day performed at the White House in 2015.
About Bedford Embraces Diversity
Bedford Embraces Diversity was formed in 2014 in response to local incidents of antisemitism. The grass-roots group’s belief is that inclusion and acceptance should be extended to all residents, regardless of race, religion, disability, lifestyle, gender orientation, military, or cultural status.
The Martin Luther King Jr. event has become a cornerstone of Bedford Embraces Diversity’s calendar. Organizers make special efforts to personally invite representatives of the complete cross-section of officeholders, town and school department heads, and community organizations, to demonstrate a town-wide commitment to the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763
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