60 Years On: The legacy of Martin Luther King’s first London sermon

Friday 29 October 2021

60 years after Martin Luther King preached his first London sermon, this event explores the ongoing significance of his message for the UK

 

Martin Luther King preached in London for the first time on the 29th October 1961, at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church.

Join us to commemorate the 60th anniversary of this important occasion, where he gave one of his most memorable and prophetic speeches.

This event will explore how Dr King’s speeches and writings continue to speak to the issues of racial injustice, economic and social inequality, poverty, violence, and hope for world peace that shape the 21st Century British context.

The afternoon session (2-5pm) will include lectures and panel discussion, exploring the British legacy and reception of Dr King’s message, with expert speakers reflecting on the ongoing relevance of the challenges that he brought, in the light of the continued reality of racism in our contemporary context.

The evening session (7-9pm) will include an opportunity to hear an extract from Dr King’s sermon, ‘The Three Dimensions of the Complete Life’, 60 years to-the-day after he preached it in the beautiful auditorium of Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. The evening will also include creative responses to the issues the sermon raises, exploring how we can examine our role in society in the midst of vast material wealth, prevailing inequality, the refugee crisis, social divides, ethnic and cultural tensions, and questions about social inclusion and exclusion.

Confirmed Contributors:

  • Richard Reddie, Director of Justice and Inclusion, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)
  • Dr Hannah Elias, Lecturer in Black British History, Goldsmith’s, University of London.
  • Professor Anthony G. Reddie, Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, Regent’s Park College, Oxford.
  • Revd Dr Simon Woodman, Minister, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
  • Impact Dance! Hip-Hop Theatre Company, Street Dance Organisation and Educational Facilitator, now based at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church.
  • Emmanuel Gotora, Lead Organiser, TELCO & North London Citizens
  • Ife Thompson, community- based activist, writer, Human Rights Defender and Barrister and the founder of two civil society organisations; BLAM UK and Black Protest Legal Support UK

Running Order (may be subject to change):

Afternoon, 2-5pm

  • 2.00-2.05 Welcome and introductions
  • 2.05-2.40 Richard Reddie
  • 2.40-3.15 Hannah Elias
  • 3.15-3.45 Break
  • 3.45-3.50 Welcome back
  • 3.50-4.25 Anthony Reddie
  • 4.25-5.00 Panel discussion

Evening, 7- 9pm

  • 7.00-7.05 Welcome and introductions
  • 7.05-7.20 Contextualising the sermon – Simon Woodman
  • 7.20-7.40 Extract of Dr King preaching
  • 7.40-8.00 Impact Dance!
  • 8.00-8.20 Emmanuel Gotora
  • 8.20-8.40 Ife Thompson
  • 8.40-9.00 Questions and Panel response

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