Scott Presents Tribute to Dr. MLK Jr.

January 20, 2012

Barry ScottBarry Scott, an expert on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presented the keynote address in honor of Dr. MLK Jr. Day on Thursday, January 12 at the University of Mount Union. Scott created his tribute to Dr. King to teach students about one of America’s most violent and inspiring times. During his address, he examined the life and works of Dr. King, a man who made an extraordinary impact on the civil rights movement and the world.
 
Scott began his presentation by explaining that his exposure to Dr. King began as a young child when he watched an inspiring video with his father. His interest grew, and at the age of 12, he stood in front of his hometown church quoting Dr. King’s entire speech.
 
“I’ve been reciting MLK since the day he died,” said Scott.
 
Scott used his childhood stories and experiences to illustrate how Dr. King affected his life in a very powerful way. He faced much racism throughout his adolescence, but he was no longer ashamed of the trials he endured. In spite of his difficulties, that one powerful speech, which was given by Dr. King, was enough to help Scott rise up.
 
He quoted several impacting speeches that were delivered by Dr. King and talked about some of the influential acts of that time. One story in particular that Scott discussed was a conversation he had with Rosa Parks. She told him, “I sat down and thought that would be a stand.”
 
During the hour-long program, Scott used his own personal experiences to explain how the whole world was impacted by Dr. King and is still impacted by his actions and words today. Scott closed his tribute by encouraging the audience to also take a stand and to have courage

“I can imagine Dr. King saying that there is still more to be done,” said Scott. “Although the dreamer was killed, the dream lives on in me and in you.”
Widely known for his successes as an actor, writer, producer, director, motivational speaker and voice over artist, Scott is the founder and producing artistic director of the American Negro Playwright Theatre at Tennessee State University. He has recreated Dr. King’s speeches in such venues at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, NY the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN and the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, AL.
 
As a writer, Scott’s work has been featured in numerous plays. As an actor, he has performed for the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in many productions including Macbeth, Othello, Taming of the Shrew, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pirates of Penzance, Evita and Big River. He also has appeared in the plays I’ll Fly Away and Rescue 911 as well as a recurring role as a minister in the successful series In the Heat of the Night. In addition, Scott played a disabled Vietnam veteran in the award winning Travis Tritt music video trilogy, Anymore. He also co-starred with Jim Varney in the Touchstone picture, Ernest Goes to Jail.
 
He has conducted workshops on acting and has received several awards including the Ingram Fellowship Award for Theatre and the Partnership in Access and Appreciation Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. He also won the Ralph Edmondson National Award for Play Writing for Lisa’s Story, in which he wrote, produced, directed and starred. In addition, His leadership speech Courage To Lead is a regular part of the curriculum at the prestigious Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University. In 2004, Scott received rave reviews for his performance in the play Looking Over The President’s Shoulder directed by Emmy Award winning actor Robert Guillume. Scott also was named Best Actor in 2005 by the Nashville Scene for his starring role in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson directed by the Tony Award winning producer and director Woodie King Jr.
 
Scott’s voice can be heard on commercials and PSA’s around the country. He has voiced work for ESPN, National Football League, The Discovery Channel, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, McDonalds, The American Heart Association, CBS, ABC, NBC, Disney and SPIKE TV, among other national, respected brands.
 
A native of Nashville, TN, Scott graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in speech communications and theatre. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor’s Equity Association and American Film Radio & Television Association.
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