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2014 MLK Speaker

Posted by on Friday, October 11, 2013 in News, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.

For the 2014 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Vanderbilt University is pleased to announce that this year’s keynote speaker will be beloved actor and civil rights advocate Danny Glover. Glover is no stranger to speaking out for others. As this excerpt from an article in 2012 details, Glover has been the voice for many who need him.

Many movie fans know Danny Glover from the Lethal Weapon series, but this Hollywood action star is also a serious intellectual, activist, and producer of thought-provoking documentaries and features. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Amnesty International USA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is putting his political consciousness and filmmaking knowhow to good use as the CEO and co-founder of New York-based Louverture Films, a production company named after Toussaint Louverture, the leader of Haiti’s revolution.

Glover’s new project as co-producer is The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975. The documentary consists of rare footage of African American leaders during that pivotal period in U.S. history. This remarkable, rediscovered material was shot by Swedish news crews and includes interviews with, and coverage of, such figures as Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Bobby Seale. The Black Power Mixtape, which won an award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, makes for riveting viewing and is available now on video on demand, Blu-Ray, and DVD.

Glover has acted in crowd-pleasers such as Predator 2 and the Lethal Weapon series, and he played the President in the disaster epic 2012. He has also portrayed Nelson Mandela and starred in the civil rights saga Freedom Song and in the critically acclaimed To Sleep with Anger. He is now appearing in a new TV series, Touch.

Glover has participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement, declaring in a speech at an October 8 Occupy L.A. rally: “This is our Earth. This is our common ground. This is where we stand. And this is where the fight begins.” He urged each protester to be a “24/7 warrior.” And he had harsh words for President Obama: “We have to say to that Administration in Washington, D.C., that its job plan is inadequate; it doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t do anything but create false hope,” he said. “We’re tired of false hope.”