Show, Memoir Highlight MLK Legacy

January/February 2013

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Show, Memoir Highlight MLK Legacy

History professor Clayborne Carson will doubly celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year. Carson's memoir—chronicling his own coming of age, activism and career as editor of King's papers and director of the King Research and Education Institute at Stanford—comes out in January. He will also stage an original multimedia production based on the civil rights leader's "I Have a Dream" speech and insights gained from decades spent studying King's life and thought.

The campus production, Martin's Dream, takes place on January 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Cubberley Auditorium. The free public event features Bay Area actors, dancers and musicians, and Clarence B. Jones, King's former lawyer and friend.

This new drama and the memoir, Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Palgrave Macmillan), both testify to Carson's perseverance in keeping King relevant 45 years after his assassination. Carson has lectured around the globe and successfully brought his earlier play, Passages of Martin Luther King, to China in 2007 and to the Palestinian National Theatre in 2011. Both ventures were fraught with translation challenges and political risk.

Indeed, as his memoir relates in detail, Carson has faced countless shaky situations and difficult relationships as King's editor and director of his namesake institute. But he has a penchant for self-reflection, and is as candid about his own shortcomings as he is ultimately forgiving of the trespasses of others.

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