Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Institute Honors King on his birthday
January 14, 2008
In honor of the upcoming holiday on Monday, participants celebrated the dream and messages of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. yesterday at Arrillaga Alumni Center.

"Global Peace with Social Justice," a three-hour event sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, featured gospel musical performances of "Precious Lord" and dramatic renditions of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, both of which moved audience members to tears. Participants also viewed an excerpt from journalist and filmmaker Kevin McKiernan's documentary "Passages of Martin Luther King in Beijing," which is still in the production phase.

The 2007 Beijing production of Institute Director Clayborne Carson's play "Passages of Martin Luther King" was the subject of the documentary. Original letters, personal notes, interviews and speeches served as inspiration for the play, which includes songs such as "Precious Lord" and "Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" and readings of King's speeches.

In 2007, the play was performed in Chinese at the National Theatre of China by a cast that featured Chinese actors -- including one playing the role of King -- intermixed with black American gospel singers. Caitrin McKiernan '02, Kevin McKiernan's daughter, produced the play last summer in Beijing in an effort to teach Chinese citizens about the history of the American civil rights movement. At Stanford, she developed a relationship with Carson while completing her degree in history.
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