Motivational speaker John Artis will speak at Coastal Carolina University on Thursday, Feb. 26 as part of the university's African-American Celebration. The program will be at 7 p.m. in Wall Auditorium; it is free and open to the public.
Artis, who was arrested with prizefighter Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in 1966 and convicted of a triple murder he did not commit, was finally exonerated and released, with Carter, after 15 years of imprisonment. He now works with troubled youth in Portsmouth, Va., and is an inspirational speaker on college campuses around the nation. He counsels youth on the downfalls of drug use, gang membership and the importance of education.
In 1985, a federal judge overturned Artis' and Carter's convictions, rebuking the prosecution for constitutional violations "as heinous as the crimes for which (the two men) were tried and convicted." Three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the federal court's decision overturning the murder convictions.
Artis' appearance continues Coastal's African-American Celebration, a series of events through early April that promote the art, history, music and theater of the African-American culture. It is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Services. All events are free and open to the public. Call 349-2863 for more information.