Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Rev. James A. Forbes and Music by New Orleans Jazz Ensemble Saturday, January 15 at 11am
The Chapel’s 40th anniversary kick-off event will honor Dr. Martin Luther King and celebrate the dedication of Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk to the slain human rights leader. Chapel co-founder Dominique De Menil wrote that the juxtaposition of the Broken Obelisk and the Chapel is symbolic of the institution’s dual vocation of contemplation and action. Dr. King’s life clearly demonstrates the power of a contemplative approach to social justice. The event will include remarks by The Rev. Forbes and music by a New Orleans jazz ensemble. A commemoration ceremony in front of the Broken Obelisk will highlight the installation of a plaque describing the sculpture’s dedication to Dr. King.
The Rev. Forbes is a well-known and respected leader in social justice circles. He is the Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church in New York and was acting senior minister from 1989 until 2007. He came to Riverside following many years at Union Theological Seminary. Additionally, from 1992 to the present, Dr. Forbes has been co-chair of A Partnership of Faith, an interfaith organization of clergy among New York’s Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim communities. He is on the board of Manhattanville College, the Interfaith Alliance, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, and the United Way. He is a consultant to the Congress of National Black Churches and past President of The Martin Luther King Fellows.
The jazz ensemble will perform in the Chapel and then process onto the plaza in a “second line” performance common in New Orleans’ funeral processions. The music begins in a mournful tone to recognize the grief that people feel but then transitions to the “second line” which is more celebratory of the life being acknowledged.