Skip to main content

2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Lecture: "In Praise of Being Black and Alive: A Conversation between Danté Stewart and Cole Arthur Riley"

February 3rd, 2022

Note: Event info is on the Cornell Calendar website.

NOTE: Due to the forecasted winter storm and the likelihood of hazardous driving conditions, this event will be presented entirely online. Those who have already registered to attend in person will receive a message to register to receive a Zoom link. Those who have already registered for the livestream may use that link.

To join us at this event you may register for a Zoom link here.


This year’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration will feature two Black authors in conversation about how their work is both inspired by and builds on the work of Rev. Dr. King. Danté Stewart will speak about his new book, “Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle.” Danté will be joined by Ithaca-based author and curator of the popular Black Liturgies website Cole Riley, whose book “This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us” is due out February 22.

Both authors grapple with the legacy of white supremacy in America and invite us to reclaim the liberative and communitarian spiritual practices so central to the work of Dr. King

About the Speakers

Danté Stewart is the author of debut memoir Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle, a stirring meditation on being Black and learning to love in a loveless, anti-Black world. Stewart uses his personal experiences as a vehicle to reclaim and reimagine spiritual virtues like rage, resilience, and remembrance—and explores how these virtues might function as a work of love against an unjust, unloving world. Stewart’s voice has been featured on CNN, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Sojourners, The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, Comment Magazine, and more. He received his B.A. in Sociology from Clemson University. He is currently studying at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Cole Arthur Riley is the spiritual teacher in residence with Cornell’s Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making. She is the creator of Black Liturgies, a space for Black spiritual words of liberation, lament, rage, and rest; and a project of The Center for Dignity and Contemplation. Born and for the most part raised in Pittsburgh, Cole studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her debut book, This Here Flesh, will be published by Penguin Random House in February of 2022.

This event will be accessible to all via livestream. Visit for additional details and event updates.