'We Must Work
Together,' James Earl Jones Tells UNCP Audience
By Sheri Sides
Earl Jones spoke to a standing-room crowd of more than 1,700 February
18 at the Givens Performing Arts Center on the
campus of UNC Pembroke. The noted actor with one of the most recognizable
voices in Americana, spoke of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King
Jones, who was part
of UNCP's Distinguished Speaker Series,
was welcomed with a standing ovation as he took stage to speak about
one of the greatest influences in his life and career.
wasn't dreaming for one color or race but for everyman who walks on
this earth," Jones said.
The actor, who provided
the voice for Darth Vader in "Star Wars" and Mufasa in the
"Lion King," said the slain civil rights leader paved the
way for black artists like him.
"Dr. King ignited
change everywhere - even in the arts," he said. "He drew strength
from great novelists."
said King was influenced by thinkers including Poe, Shakespeare, Hitler,
Thoreau and Lincoln, and he absorbed diverse ideas into his world view.
on universal ideas, "Jones said, "He knew ignorance is powerful,
and that we must work together for social justice and equal opportunity
for all races."
the audience to make a new life, "to take pride in your own identity,
to see other's identities."
Jones said he was
personally inspired by one of last semester's distinguished speakers,
Henry Winkler, to start speaking on college campuses.
way of communicating, and this way I can serve society by speaking to
college students," Jones said.
an actor, Jones is known for his roles in movies such as "Clear
and Present Danger," "Field of Dreams" and "Dr.
The actor tailored
his lecture, in part, to the youthful audience. In the question and
answer period that followed, he was asked by a teen how to become a
great actor like James Earl Jones.
try it," he said to a laughing crowd. "Don't try to be like
me. There is a character in you that you owe the world. Try to find
Speaker Series continues March 11 with actress Rita Moreno and April
28 with Oklahoma basketball coach Kelvin Sampson.
Sheri Sides is
a junior Mass Communications major.
to University Newswire