02/15/11 — Civil rights leader will speak at WCC event

View Archive

Civil rights leader will speak at WCC event

By Special to The News-Argus
Published in News on February 15, 2011 1:46 PM

The Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles

The Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a longtime leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and one of the last living witnesses to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, will be Wayne Community College's Black History Month celebration speaker.

He will speak about the movement, Dr. King and their friendship at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21, in Moffatt Auditorium.

Immediately following, there will be a luncheon prepared by faculty, staff and students.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Kyles, pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., since 1959, has continued civil rights efforts. He has appeared in several television documentaries about the life and assassination of King and has toured the country extensively, speaking on King and his message.

A member of several civic and professional organizations, Kyles is a founding member of the National Board of People United to Save Humanity, the executive director of Rainbow-PUSH Memphis and the executive producer of Rainbow-PUSH WLOK Radio.

He also worked on Jesse Jackson's 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns and was a delegate to the First African National Congress. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad.

He has received many honors and awards, including the Tennessee Living Legend Award in 1992.

The lecture and luncheon are sponsored by the WCC Cultural Diversity/Global Education Task Force. For information, contact Harold Warren at 739-6921 or harwar@waynecc.edu.