• Jay Sekou

January 04, 2017

Susquehanna University will commemorate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a weeklong celebration when the spring semester commences on Jan. 23. The centerpiece of the celebration is the annual Winter Convocation, beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 in Degenstein Center Theater. The event, featuring Rev. Sekou and The Holy Ghost, is free and open to the public.

One of Susquehanna’s 2015-16 Artist Series performers, Rev. Sekou and The Holy Rev. Sekou  Ghost return to campus for another powerful performance. Their sound is described as “a symphony of gospel, blues, soul, funk and freedom songs laced with sanctified blues and lyrics that range from religious to risqué.”

The Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou is a third-generation Pentecostal preacher and longtime organizer, author and activist grounded in the tradition of the Arkansas Delta Blues. Singer-songwriter and #SayHerName activist Jay-Marie Hill, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, is an active member of the Black Lives Matter Bay Area Chapter, and a bassist/saxophonist for the San Francisco/Oakland-based band Bones of a Feather. Since joining forces in 2015, the duo has become a musical and organizing force to be reckoned with.

Sekou is a professor of preaching at Chicago’s Seminary Consortium of Urban Pastoral Education in the Graduate Theological Urban Studies Program. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute in 2014 when Michael Brown Jr. was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. He traveled to Ferguson in mid-August on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the country’s oldest interfaith peace organization where he is the Bayard Rustin fellow. While in Ferguson, he organized alongside local and national groups, and trained hundreds in nonviolent civil disobedience.

Sekou studied continental philosophy at the New School, systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary and religion at Harvard University. Hill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Stanford University and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Southern California.

The celebration of King’s legacy continues with the opening reception of Photography as Social Conscience: Impassioned Portrayals of Race in the United States, a national juried photography exhibition in Lore Degenstein Gallery from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 28.

Then, at 11 a.m. Jan. 29, Vicar Lenny Duncan will lead Sunday Chapel Service. Duncan, who was homeless for more than a decade, is the pastoral intern at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohocken, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia.