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Civil Rights Icon Rev. Billy Kyles to Speak at MDC Homestead


Rev. Billy Kyles

Miami, January 31, 2013 - Miami, Jan. 29, 2012 –As one of the foremost civil rights activists in the 1960s, the Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles forged a close bond with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was an eyewitness to the late civil rights leader’s assassination. For Black History Month, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Homestead Campus will host “A Candid Discussion with the Rev. Billy Kyles” on Feb. 20. The famed civil rights leader will reveal details of Dr. King’s life, legacy and his final moments with him. The event, held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

“It is important for our students to learn about the civil rights movement and its impact on our nation,” said MDC’s Homestead Campus President, Dr. Jeanne Jacobs. “To have such a civil rights legend as Rev. Kyles address our students during Black History Month is especially meaningful.”

Rev. Kyles entered the civil rights movement in the late 1950s, when he moved from Chicago to Memphis to pastor a church. In the face of segregation, he joined the Memphis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and helped strategize the South’s civil rights movement. Through non-violent protests, the life-long activist was instrumental in integrating schools, mass transit, restaurants, movie theatres and workplaces in Memphis. Catapulted to the forefront of the civil rights movement, Rev. Kyles was one of four aides with Dr. King during his final hour at the Lorraine Motel.

As time progressed, Rev. Kyles continued his tireless fight for racial equality and international human rights. He has served on various U.S. delegations to South Africa and is a founding member of the People United to Serve Humanity (PUSH), known today as the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Rev. Kyles has received numerous prestigious awards, and in 2010 was added to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta. A revered historical figure, he is featured in numerous documentaries including Who Shot Martin Luther King?, The Last Days of King and the HBO’s The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306.

Rev. Kyles’ visit to MDC’s Homestead Campus is one many events organized by the college in honor of Black History Month. For a complete list of MDC’s Black History events by campus, visit

MDC to Host Civil Rights Leader, the Rev. Billy Kyles

  • WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
  • WHERE: MDC Homestead Campus 500 College Terrace, Room F222 Homestead, FL 33030

For more information, please contact Michael Mannino at 305-237-5234.

Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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