Morgan State will have a civil rights leader onhand Friday as they honor one of the movement’s biggest achievements. The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. will be in Baltimore to give the keynote address at Morgan State’s commencement ceremony.

Along with producing a lot of proud grads, the historically black college is set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Along with Jackson’s speech, the university will award an honorary degree to Autherine Lucy Foster, who was the first black student to attend the University of Alabama. She was later expelled, but returned to get her degree.

The university will also honor Morgan State’s own civil rights pioneers, who pushed to desegregate theaters and lunch counters in Baltimore.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.