Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, Ambassador Andrew Young will take his insight and experience to Oakland for a lecture, “The Time Is Now: Our Legacy, Our Future.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Oakland City Center Marriott. Admission is free. Organizers of the lecture strongly encourage reservations because space is limited. Ambassador Young’s lecture is the 2012-2013 kickoff for the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series. The lecture is co-produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, a nonpartisan, non-political educational organization, promotes the principles of nonviolence and offers an environment where young people actively seek peaceful, nonviolent solutions to the difficult challenges communities face. The Freedom Center serves individuals, organizations, schools and communities in the Greater Bay Area. Call April Chan at (510) 6100-5446 to RSVP.
World Fantasy Award-winning author of “Who Fears Death,” Nnedi Okorafor, has been named as a judge in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Nnedi won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for her story “Zahrah the Windseeker” and has been nominated for dozens of awards internationally. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. Now in its 29th year, the Writers of the Future Contest awards annual cash prizes totaling $30,000 for writers and illustrators of never-before-published works of science fiction and fantasy. It includes annual publication of the year’s winning stories and illustrations in the anthology titled L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future. The contest helped to launch her career by publishing her story “Windseekers” in “Writers of the Future Volume XVIII” back in 2002. Nnedi will judge one set of the quarterly finalists every year and will also judge for the grand prize story each year.
The University of Connecticut’s first African American professor, Rollin Charles Williams, died Sept. 24 in Waterford, Conn., after a short illness. He was 90 years old. A professor emeritus at the time of his death, Williams was hired as a full-time assistant professor in the School of Social Work in 1957. During his 30 years with the university, Williams spent time running the admissions office and as an interim dean. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 181 Ocean Ave., New London, Conn. A visiting hour will be held one hour prior to the service. A tribute page has been created in Williams’ honor at www.fultontherouxnewlondon.com.