Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver speaker at 15th Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Symposium at Stockton University

Stockton University music professor Beverly Vaughn and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble & Friends performing during the 2018 Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Symposium at Stockton University.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — W. Paul Coates, founder and director of Black Classic Press, will be the keynote speaker at the 16th annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium next month.

The symposium honors the legacy of Hamer, an advocate for black voting rights in the 1960s. Hamer testified in 1964 during the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City against the seating of an all-white Mississippi delegation.

Coates, who was born in Philadelphia in 1946, served in the Vietnam War and as a defense captain of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. He also has served as an African American Studies reference and acquisition librarian at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. In 1978, he established Black Classic Press, which specializes in republishing obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent.

The symposium will be 2:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Stockton University Performing Arts Center. The theme of this year’s symposium will be “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature performances by the Afro One Dance Group and Gospel Choir led by Professor of Music Beverly Vaughn. Coates will participate in a panel discussion with Stockton Distinguished Professor of Social Work Patricia Reid-Merritt and Atlantic City Councilman Moe Delgado. Stockton President Harvey Kesselman and United Black Students Society President Jayden Cohen-Boyce also will speak.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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