Randal Maurice Jelks is an awarding-winning professor of American studies and African and African American studies at the University of Kansas.
Jelks will present this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. lecture, “Dear Martin: How Do We Build Democracy in an Anti-democratic Age?,” on Wednesday, February 8. Professor Jelks is the author of two award-winning books, African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Grand Rapids (2006); and Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (2012), winner of the 2013 Lillian Smith Book Award and the 2013 Literary Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Co-editor of the journal American Studies, Professor Jelks holds courtesy appointments in history and religious studies, and also is an ordained member of the Presbyterian clergy. His research and writing interests are in the areas of American religious histories, African diaspora religions, and religion and American social movements.
Professor Jelks’ talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8, in the Science Center of Illinois Hall. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni.