Darryl Van Leer to perform at NIU

By Jen Bland

As part of NIU’s celebration of Black History Month, famous performer Darryl Van Leer will present “Rated: Malcolm X,” a dramatization of the life of Malcolm X.

“Rated: Malcolm X” will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center.

The Campus Activities Board and the Center for Black Studies is sponsoring the free performance.

CAB Speaker Coordinator Miriam Sutton said all people should attend the performance. Van Leer will take the audience back to a time in America’s past everyone needs to know about, she said.

Van Leer has an extensive career in show business. He worked regularly on “Bobby Jones Gospel Show” as a background vocalist, writer and staff photographer. He also appeared as a groundskeeper in “A League of Their Own” and has made numerous stand-up comedy appearances.

Van Leer created the 65-minute performance based on the books “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “Malcolm X Speaks.”

To set the tone for the performance, the auditorium will be transformed into a 1963 freedom rally while the unrest of the ra is portrayed through an audio prelude featuring the revolutionary bands of the 1960’s.

During his performance, Van Leer will be reiterating two of Malcolm X’s most famous speeches. Act 1 will feature “The Message to the Grass Roots” and Act 2 will bring “The Ballot or the Bullet.”

For his roles as Malcolm X, Van Leer has earned a Best Lecture Program nomination from the Campus Activities Today Readers Choice Awards and has been requested to open Spike Lee’s presentation at the University of Southern California.