"Prexy" (Rozell W.) Nesbitt, an educator, activist and lecturer with more than 50 years of experience, will give this year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, in the Valders Hall of Science Room 206 on the Luther College campus.
His lecture titled, "'Dreams Deferred,' 'Beyond Vietnam,' 'Mary Jane,' and 'The Wall Between': Memorializing Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela," is open to the public with no charge for admission.
Nesbitt's influence as an educator and labor activist stretches from Chicago to southern Africa. In his hometown of Chicago, he has worked as a social worker, union organizer, special assistant to Chicago's mayor Harold Washington, and a senior program officer with the MacArthur Foundation. He fought South African apartheid and the effects of colonialism in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibi from within the US and also during over 100 trips to Africa, including secret excursions into apartheid-torn South Africa.
The author of a number of works, Nesbitt has published the book, "Apartheid in Our Living Rooms," and articles in 25 international journals. He was interviewed for several documentaries, including "The End of the Nightstick," a 1993 piece on police brutality in Chicago, and "Soft Vengeance," a 2014 piece on the life of the South African High Court Justice, Albie Sachs.
Although his own accomplishments are far-reaching, those who know Nesbitt well cite his proudest achievements as working with key figures in civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
Nesbitt teaches African history at Chicago's Columbia College. He continues to organize cultural and political tours to Africa through Making the Road, an organization he helped to found.
This lecture is sponsored by the Africana Studies department, the Lawrence and Queen Williams Endowment Fund, and the Paideia Endowment Fund.