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KNOXVILLE — Award-winning actress, social activist, writer and producer Ruby Dee will speak and perform readings on the theme “Social Responsibility” at the University of Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 24.

Dee’s appearance, part of the Legends Lecture Series sponsored by the Black Cultural Programming Committee, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium in Alumni Memorial Building. A book signing and reception will follow.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Legends Lecture Series was started in 2005 and has presented speakers who have made significant contributions to society, particularly to African-Americans. Past speakers have included Maya Angelou and Harry Belafonte.

Dee received the National Medal of Arts in 1995 and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1988. She has starred in over 40 films and stage plays and is most noted for her role in “A Raisin in the Sun,” in which she starred opposite Sidney Poitier.

Dee and her late husband, actor Ossie Davis, were well-known civil rights activists and personal friends of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Dee also has authored and co-authored several books including “In This Life,” “My One Good Nerve” and “Life Lit by Some Large Vision: Selected Speeches and Writings,” which honors the memory of her husband.

“Ruby Dee is a true legend in every sense of the word. It is important that all students, and in this case, particularly African-American students, are exposed to individuals who can serve as positive role models, points of reference, and sources of information and inspiration as they carve out the paths for their lives,” said Chutney Walton, graduate adviser for the Black Cultural Programming Committee.

The event is co-sponsored by the Knoxville News Sentinel, UT Africana Studies, UT Women’s Coordinating Council, UT Mu Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Knoxville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

For more information and for disability accommodations, contact the Black Cultural Center at (865) 974-4738.


Elizabeth Davis, UT Media Relations, (865) 974-5179,

Chutney Walton, BCPC, (865) 974-9945,