Black History Live tour is an annual recognition each February of the significant contributions African Americans have made and continue to make to art, culture, economic development, education, human rights, medicine, public services, politics, and sports. This year’s statewide tour will feature the living-history portrayals of Rosa Parks by nationally acclaimed scholar/actor Becky Stone, and Martin Luther King, Jr. by scholar/actor Marvin Jefferson.
Thank you to our partner Colorado Mountain College.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
Reverend, theologian, civil and human rights leader and arguably the “greatest American of the 20th century,” Dr. King embodied all of these things but would be the first to disown most of the titles afforded him. An intensely guilt-ridden yet brilliant man who rose to greatness during the most eventful years of the Civil Rights Movement.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929 and raised in a middle-class African American community by his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr., Dr. King’s relationship with the Black church, his optimism in human nature, and his inner knowledge of the worth and dignity of African American people was nurtured in his early years.
In 1953 he married Coretta Scott, and in 1954 he was appointed pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama; this would essentially mark the end of his “quiet middle-class existence.” For the next 13 years he would be at the forefront of a movement that would become known as “the second American Revolution.”
From the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56) to the Poor People’s campaign (1967-68), his life was filled with immense joy, pain, triumph, tragedy, hatred, and most of all, love.
About Marvin Jefferson
Marvin Jefferson has an extensive background as a professional actor. He studied acting at the Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers University, and from 1981 – 1996 he was the producer/artistic director of the Ensemble Theatre Company in New Jersey, a professional acting company that he co-founded. Between 1997 and 2009 he performed the Paul Robeson Chautauqua character for the entire Newark, New Jersey school district. He prepared for his portrayal of Robeson by attending the Annual Great Plains Chautauqua in West Fargo, North Dakota. From 2005 – 2010 Jefferson appeared as Robeson in the Colorado, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada Chautauqua festivals. During this time he also began his Chautauqua portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jefferson taught acting for the summer programs at Essex County College, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Franklin Township Department of Social Services of New Jersey, and the Newark School of Arts. He currently teaches acting at Bloomfield College.