Tickets will be on sale through Wednesday, Feb. 4, for the 2009 African-American Heritage Celebration banquet, being held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
This year's event, set to take place Friday, Feb. 6, will feature the one-man autobiographical play, "A Killing in Choctaw," presented by Carl Ray. While being questioned by a white man in 1962, in the small town of Butler, Choctaw County, Ala., the then 18-year-old Ray responded by saying "yes' and "no" instead of "yes, sir" and "no, sir," which was the customary response when addressing white people. He was severely beaten for being disrespectful and, an hour later, the man went to Ray's home and shot his father as Ray looked helplessly on.
"A Killing in Choctaw" examines how this incident defined Ray's life, and how he eventually reached the point for forgiveness and healing. The play will be followed with a question-and-answer session by Ray. (See http://www.carlraye.com/ for more information.)
The banquet will begin with a 5 p.m. social, followed by the dinner at 6 p.m., in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. Tickets, priced at $15 for adults and $8 for students, are available at Eastern's Gateway Office (581-6692), Blair Hall, Room 2170. No credit cards accepted.
Additional activities are also scheduled to take place on the EIU campus in commemoration of African-American Heritage Month 2009. Admission to all events is free (unless otherwise noted) and open to the public.
Events scheduled for the week of Feb. 1 through 7 are as follows: