Book cover Origins of the Dream Hughe's Poetry and King's Rhetoric

In Celebration of Black History Month, Community Voices Presents Dr. Jason Miller

February is Black History Month and the Beaufort County Community College library will host Dr. Jason Miller as part of its community voices series on February 28 at 3:30 p.m. TRiO/Student Support Services is partnering with the library to bring Dr. Miller to campus to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s first "I Have a Dream" speech in Rocky Mount, N.C. The event is open to the public.

Miller is an English professor at N.C. State University. His book Origins of the Dream: Hughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric traces Martin Luther King, Jr.'s use of Langston Hughes's poetry in his sermons and speeches from 1956-1968. This work is also the subject of a documentary film project currently being made in partnership with the Southern Documentary Fund.

His King's First Dream project has made the first ever recording of Dr. Martin Luther's King "I Have a Dream" speech available online at kingsfirstdream.com. This speech took place in Rocky Mount, North Carolina a full eight months before King's famous speech at the March on Washington in 1963. The project has received coverage on the CBS and ABC National Evening News, the BBC, and in USA Today. Articles have been published in Canada and Japan and even translated into Dutch and Italian. Dr. Miller was also interviewed on NPR and live on CNN. He was inducted into the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 2017.

The library has hosted poet Jonathan Clayborne, photographer Shanon Shuler-Gaskins, editor Roy Armstrong and historian Leesa Jones as part of its Community Voices series. On February 12, it is hosting children's author Eileen Lettick as part of the series. The BCCC library is open to the public, with a collection of books, audiobooks and DVDs.