Association of Black Students to Host 20th Annual Black Heritage Banquet

Feb. 5, 2007

by Angela Best, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961

Kirk Franklin, gospel recording artist and winner of three Grammy's, 33 Stellar and nine Dove Awards, will serve as featured speaker for this year's Black Heritage Banquet, hosted by the Association of Black Students (ABS) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Room 510 of the Cashion Academic Center.

My Journey: Struggle, Faith, Perseverance, is the theme of this year's banquet, and Franklin is expected to speak on an individual's pilgrimage through life as he/she tries to find his/her true purpose in the world.

"I can look over my life and career now and see both seasons of success as well as struggles and pitfalls, but I still believe that it's God working in me," Franklin said on his web site. "There's nothing any different in me than what's in any Christian artist. I'm just very grateful that God is using my experience, my imperfections, and that when he gives me a song, it's a song that connects with people."

Franklin's self-titled debut album, "Kirk Franklin & The Family," became the first gospel album ever to sell more than a million copies after its release in 1993. His songs appeal to both gospel music listeners as well as to fans of R&B music, and as a result, Franklin has had many mainstream cross-over successes.

Reaching young, urban audiences is a key component of Franklin's vision, according to his web site, and to achieve this goal he has created his own entertainment venture: Fo Yo Soul Entertainment Inc., a full-service youth outreach initiative, an advertising agency and a production company.

"We're seeking to creatively impact the world through the roster of artists and resources with Christ-centered, innovative products and services," he said.

Depending on ticket availability, tickets may be available at the door for $20. Those wishing solely to hear Franklin speak can come to the banquet at 7:45 p.m. "It will be a night full of inspiration and enlightenment," said Breia Fisher, ABS treasurer.

For more information about the banquet, contact Taryn Ozuna in the Baylor Multicultural Activities office at (254) 710-6949. More information on Franklin can be found at www.kirkfranklin.us.

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