Speech by King's daughter to attract an overflow crowd Arundel college plans to televise address

November 06, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

An appearance by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter has drawn so much interest from schools and churches that Anne Arundel Community College, anticipating a record overflow, is simulcasting her speech.

But some people who planned to attend the Rev. Bernice A. King's free talk Nov. 13 in the main campus auditorium in Arnold aren't so sure they want to attend if they'll just get to sit in another room and watch her on television.

The 11 a.m. speech will be in Pascal Center for Performing Arts, which holds 400 people.

"We already had given out the 400 tickets" in the past two weeks to college students, faculty, and county residents who requested them, said campus spokeswoman Debbie McDaniel-Shaughney. Ticket requests are still coming in.

With new fiber-optic technology in place, the school can pipe the speech into four overflow sites: the Humanities Lecture Hall, which holds about 130, the multipurpose room and a classroom in the Cade Center for Fine Arts, which hold 125 and 35 people, respectively, and the Florestano lecture hall, which holds about 100.

Few other events have so taxed the school's facilities, said McDaniel-Shaughney.

Rainy-day commencements have prompted spillovers into the cafeteria or other spaces. But this is the first time so many sites have been hooked up, she said.

After a 20- to 30-minute talk, King will take questions from students, including those in the overflow rooms.

Some students aren't thrilled about seeing a simulcast.

Annapolis Alderman Carl O. Snowden invited 65 seniors from Severn School, a private school in Severna Park. They were set to attend -- until they learned they could not sit in the main auditorium.

King, an assistant pastor at Rising Sun Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta, will be talking about the paperback edition of "Hard Questions, Heart Answers," a compilation of 17 of her sermons and speeches.

"I have received numerous requests to make my speeches and sermons available to people beyond my listening audience," she wrote in her introduction.

As requests kept coming in, she wrote, "I realized that they were God's way of saying to me, 'Here is your opportunity to get your speeches and sermons out to all people.' "

She will most likely reach 790 more next week.

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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