Historical Society Honors MLK Jr

By Vitello, Barbara | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 17, 2003 | Go to article overview

Historical Society Honors MLK Jr


Vitello, Barbara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Barbara Vitello Daily Herald Staff Writer

Making plans for the three-day weekend that includes Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we sometimes overlook the meaning behind the holiday.

But not this year, thanks to the Chicago Historical Society, whose daylong King tribute and new art exhibition inspire this week's excursion.

The museum pays homage to the civil rights leader beginning at 11 a.m. Monday with programs for families. A performance by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, with speaker Dwight Perry of the Moody Bible Institute, follows at 2 p.m.

The tribute concludes with composer and multi-instrumentalist Mwata Bowden leading the American Association of Creative Musicians in a jazz and gospel concert at 7 p.m.

The concert also includes poet Bassey Ikpi and keynote speaker Clarence N. Wood, chairman of the Chicago Commission on Human Rights.

Don't just sleep in: Gain some insight into the struggle for civil rights. Check out the museum's new exhibition, "Rising Above Jim Crow: The Paintings of Johnnie Lee Gray."

The grandson of sharecroppers, Gray (an "outsider" artist, who died in 2000 at age 58), grew up in South Carolina still feeling the effects of Jim Crow. A self-taught artist and Vietnam veteran, his 150 mostly autobiographical paintings reflect the lives of Southern blacks from the religious, social and historical perspective. …

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