Martin Luther King Day was first observed nationwide in January 1986. Martin Luther King Day has served as a reminder of the doctor's long lasting legacy. Dr. King was an innovator of civil rights, community service, and non violent opposition. If you are in New York City, and would like to participate in the festivities of honoring this special man, there are plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy.
Studio Museum in Harlem
When Studio Museum was first opened, it was the first black fine arts museum in the country. Today, it is one of the popular places for information on African American art. Director Thelma Golden has helped lead the Studio Museum in Harlem to great heights.
MLK and The Future of Inclusion
This event will take place at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Dr. King's final manuscript "Where Do We Go From Here" talked about his plans to deal with different issues such as wage inequality, poverty, and improved education for African Americans. After the result of the recent presidential election, the radio station WNYC has joined with the Apollo Theatre to look at the impact of Dr. King's work and look towards the future of social justice. There will be a number of activists, such as justice writer Shawn King and the President of the Brooklyn NAACP L. Joy Williams, on hand to talk about a number of different topics centered around trying to create change.
Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. King
The tribute will take place at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn. This historical tribute to Dr. King is one of the largest in the city. BAM's 31th celebration will also be occurring during the tribute. Opal Tometi will deliver a special speech. Tometi is one the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as a racial justice, and immigrant rights leader. There will also be performances by the Institution Radio Choir and the steel band The Campbell Brothers.
Harlem Gospel Choir MLK Day Matinee
The matinee will be at the BB King Blues Club & Grill. This group of ladies and gentleman are world renown, as they have earned reviews from music legends such as Bono and Diana Ross. The choir will pay homage to Dr. King and give everyone a powerful experience to remember.
Harlem Walking Tour
You can learn about the connection between New York and the civil rights movement during MLK's edition of the Historic Harlem Walking Tour. Some of the major stops along the Tour include the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Striver's Row. You will also visit sites tied to W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X and Madame CJ Walker. The walk will begin at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Black Comic Book Festival
The Festival will also be held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. There will be over two days worth of programming featuring panels, guest speakers, and multiple lectures. There are a number of different seminars for the entire family to enjoy, including a youth program, a workshop on how to draw, and screenings on multiple topics.
Another way that you can make an impact on MLK day is through your service. Dr. King talked about the impact of giving back, and there are plenty of places where you can volunteer your service. Popular places to volunteer around New York include 826 NYC, Art Start, New York Cares, The Bushwick School for Music, and New York Needs You.