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Jan. 24 performance to feature letters of Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by public discussion

November 04, 2016

In observance of what would have been the 88th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ursuline College will host “Letters from Anne and Martin,” a theatrical presentation by professional actors from New York’s Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, USA, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 2-4 pm in Ursuline’s Daley Hall. The performance will feature an actor playing Dr. King reading from his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and an actor playing Ms. Frank reading from “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.” 

Those planning to attend should RSVP to veda.rawlings@ursuline.edu.

Dr. King and Ms. Frank were both born in 1929, they shared similar worldviews, and endured similar life experiences of bigotry and hatred, noted Fern Levy, educator, journalist, founder and director of the Anne Frank Moral Courage Project. 

In a Jan. 16, 2015 guest column in The Plain Dealer, Levy wrote, “King lived in a world of public humiliation and beatings, police dogs, church bombings, ghettos, and strictly enforced segregation in schools and public spaces; Frank experienced public humiliation and beatings, round-ups, police dogs, synagogue-burnings and strictly enforced segregation in schools and public spaces. Bull Connor and the Ku Klux Klan shaped King's life, work, and death; Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party determined the rules under which Frank was forced to live and, eventually, die.”

The “Letter from Birmingham Jail" was first published in 1963 in The Atlantic magazine; 2017 will mark the 70th anniversary of the original publication of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.”

Levy and Dr. Julian Earls, retired head of NASA Glenn Research Center, will moderate a public discussion following the staged readings at Ursuline. The Cleveland Heights High School A Capella Choir will perform.

This free, public event, is sponsored by the Ursuline College Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, which annually presents an event commemorating the life of Dr. King close to his Jan. 15 birth date. Also sponsoring the performance are the Anne Frank Moral Courage Project and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Financial support for this event came from Albert and Audrey Ratner, the Riverbend Fund and the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.





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