Bay Area events honor Martin Luther King Jr. legacy

Bay Area universities and organizations are honoring the legacy of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated 50 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee.

A noon rally in Berkeley will include students and faculty from University of California at Berkeley, City Council members, residents and local workers marching on Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way. The “Great Bear Bell” in the university clock tower will ring 12 times to mark the hour, then 50 times for King.

Oakland activists will gather at 1 p.m. in front of the Ronald Dellums Federal Building for a news conference and shared reading of King’s 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”

Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Wilson Riles and Daniel Buford, director of the prophetic justice ministry at Allen Temple Baptist Church, will speak at the event.

At 3:45 p.m., San Jose State University community members will ring chimes in the library that carries King’s name, say a community prayer and announce a new exhibition.

The exhibition will feature Civil Rights-era posters, banners and memorabilia, as well as student photography from an alternative spring break trip last month through the South.

UC Berkeley’s alumni chorus will perform a spring concert at 7 p.m. in Hertz Hall for its “Voices of Change” program. General admission tickets are $20, senior tickets are $15 and students will be admitted for $10. The event will also feature speeches by local activists Carl Anthony and James Peterson.

The Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Foundation hosted a memorial this morning in the San Francisco City Hall rotunda.

U.S. Rep Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, traveled to Memphis today to speak at the official ceremony in MLK’s place of death, the Lorraine Hotel. She also planned to speak at a union rally for the 50th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.