Legacy Luncheon

Doors open at 10:15. No bags, purses, or backpacks permitted.


Register for the Legacy Luncheon


Please click here to livestream the Parker Speaker Series.

Special Guest - Ibram Kendi

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. His relentless and passionate research puts into question the notion of a post-racial society and opens readers’ and audiences’ eyes to the reality of racism in America today. Dr. Kendi’s lectures are sharp, informative, and hopeful, serving as a strong platform for any institution’s discussions on racism and being antiracist.

Dr. Kendi is also the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He had also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored by Jason Reynolds.

Dr. Kendi, alongside the award-winning historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain, also edited Four Hundred Souls, a choral history of African Americans covering four hundred years in the voices of ninety writers. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

He was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Genius Grant. His book, How to Raise an Antiracist (June 2022), combines vital scholarship with a compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent to create a work whose advice is grounded in research and relatable real-world experience.

Dr. Kendi has published numerous essays in periodicals, including The New York TimesThe Washington PostTimeThe Huffington Post, and The RootThe Black Campus Movement, his book on Black student protests and the racial reconstitution of higher education, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize.

He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the American Historical Association, Library of Congress, National Academy of Education, Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, Duke University, University of Chicago, and UCLA.

Recently, Dr. Kendi was elected to the prestigious Society of American Historians and named a 2021 Young Global Leader, the World Economic Forum’s annual class of the most promising leaders around the globe under the age of 40.


The University of Tennessee at Martin established The Henry H. Parker Speaker Series in 2023 to honor the dedicated work of esteemed scholar Dr. Henry H. Parker. For more than 67 years, Dr. Parker has impacted the lives of countless college students and colleagues as a professor of history at numerous institutions. During his 33-year tenure at The University of Tennessee at Martin, Dr. Parker mentored students and developed insightful courses and programs to enrich students’ educational experiences. We are honored to recognize and celebrate a consummate educator and social justice advocate, Dr. Henry H. Parker.

Dr. Henry H. Parker

Dr. Henry H. Parker has an impressive and diverse background. He graduated with honors from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and went on to earn his M.A. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and a Ph.D. in Latin and Greek from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Dr. Parker played a pivotal role in promoting desegregation, notably in the dining car department of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and in various bars and restaurants in Spokane, WA. He was not only an advocate but also a creator, producing and starring in "The Hank Parker Show," Iowa's first black television series, which aired on the NBC affiliate KWWL.

He was a true educator, having founded the widely recognized Parker Tribune newspaper, used in 300 schools across the United States. Dr. Parker also served as the National Director of Curriculum for Jesse Jackson's PUSH-Excel program and established the highly regarded Parker Academy, a college preparatory program for preschoolers.

Together with Marilyn Crist, he developed the C.P. Collegians Program, designed to nurture gifted children. Dr. Parker co-authored several books, including "Teaching Minorities to Play the Corporate Language Game," "A Twenty-Somethings Guide to Financial Freedom," and "Secrets to Success in College and in Life," which were published both in the United States and abroad.

His influence extended to the national stage, as he was a featured speaker on the lecture circuit for the New York-based agency, Program Corporation of America. Dr. Parker's remarkable journey even caught the attention of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and his work has been featured in prestigious publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, and People magazine.

Throughout his career, Dr. Parker received recognition as a Ford Foundation Fellow and held the esteemed title of Cunningham Distinguished Professor/Scholar at the University of Tennessee at Martin. After an impressive 33 years of service in the history department, he retired from UT Martin in May 2023, leaving behind a lasting legacy.