Lerone Bennett Jr., a prominent journalist and social historian, will be the speaker at the spring 2006 commencement exercises. Bennett will speak to the graduating seniors at graduation. Commencement exercises will be held at a.m. May 21 at Eddie Robinson Stadium.Bennett has been a witness to history, covering some of the biggest stories of the 20th century, including the March on Washington and the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. He served on the editorial staff of Ebony magazine for more than 50 years. A native of Mississippi, Bennett was born in Clarksdale and raised in Jackson. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1949 with a journalism degree and soon after graduation began working as a reporter for the Atlanta Daily World. Bennett then attended graduate school at Atlanta University. In 1952, he became city editor for Jet magazine. The next year he became associate editor at Ebony. He also served as senior editor and executive editor for Ebony.Bennett has written numerous books, including Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America 1619-1966, What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr., and Confrontation: Black and White, Black Power U.S.A., The Human Side of Reconstruction 1867-1877.He is known to document the historical figures that surround the African-American community. His poems, short stories, and articles have been translated into German, French, Arabic, Japanese and Swedish.He has received numerous honors for his work, including the Literature Award of the Academy of Arts and Letters, the Book of the Year Award from Capital Press Club and the Patron Saints Award from the Society of Midland Authors.Bennett is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Sigma Delta Chi and Phi Beta Kappa. He and wife Gloria Sylvester have four children.
Where to go:
Graduation will be held at 8 a.m. in Eddie G. Robinson Stadium on May 21.