Keokuk’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration will feature a play performed by Arts Share from the University of Iowa Office of Outreach and Engagement.
The thirty-minute play is about the fight against school segregation. In 1874, two black mothers took to the courts to challenge school segregation in Keokuk. Their efforts were part of a national struggle to expand the meaning of freedom after the Civil War. Although Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments and federal legislation extended political and civil rights to African Americans, northern states were slow to offer the full enjoyment of those rights to their black citizens. Cross-Examined explores the experience of two Iowa mothers – Charlotta Smith, a former slave and Mary Jane (Mother) Dove, the wife of a respected minister – who were determined to end the unconstitutional exclusion of black children from Keokuk’s public schools.
Refreshments and fellowship will follow in the church hall.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service. Refreshments and fellowship will follow in the church hall.