Director Lee Daniels has canceled a lecture scheduled for Feb. 17 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham due to production of an upcoming television series.
The UAB Lecture Series will now bring television sports personality Stephen A. Smith to speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The lecture is free and open to the public. A meet-and-greet with Smith will be held following the lecture. Call 205-934-8225 for more information.
Smith is co-host of ESPN’s popular show “First Take.” He also is a co-host of “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show” on ESPN Radio in New York City. Smith also is an NBA analyst on ESPN TV shows.
Smith was born in the British Virgin Islands and brought up in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. He attended Winston-Salem State University and played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines. Smith built his career as a journalist for the New York Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2003, he was promoted to general sports columnist by the Inquirer, becoming one of only 21 African-Americans in the country to hold the respected title at that time, according to his bio.
The lecture is presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Student and Faculty Success, UAB Student Life, and the UAB Lecture Series. The UAB Lecture Series Committee includes students and faculty members who come together and invite producers, authors, community activists and other notable figures to discuss current events, leadership, social responsibility and history. Past speakers include Ralph Nader, Jocelyn Elder, Maya Angelou, Max Brooks and Sapphire.
Although Lee Daniels canceled his Feb. 17 lecture, a free screening of “The Butler,” directed by Daniels, is still planned for 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Room 102 in UAB’s Heritage Hall, 1401 University Blvd.