Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
By: Tristan Otto, Digital Media Buyer and Alchemy Member
January typically brings grand promises and “new year, new me” pledges, but it also brings about a day to remember an influential figure, who’s ideologies still permeate society over 50 years after his death.
Following a year filled with so much anger and injustice, it seems appropriate to take a second to appreciate all of the work and progress that can be attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. So, whether you’re at home or at work, here are some events and resources for you to educate and engage yourself on MLK Jr. Day.
As Dr. King’s birth city, there’s plenty of ways to see his influence in Atlanta, regardless of what day it is. And despite restrictions on gatherings this year, there are still several safe options for those who are looking to take a deeper look into Dr. King’s life, virtually or in person.
Atlanta History Center
Both free and virtual, the history center is hosting an MLK Day celebration as well as author conversations with Stephen Kendrick, Paul Kendrick and leaders of the Atlanta Student Movement Charles Black and Rev. Dr. Otis T. Moss, Jr.
Hands on Atlanta Day of Service
MLK Day is a big day of service around the country. Hands on Atlanta is hosting both in-person and virtual opportunities for people to volunteer and honor the life and service of Dr. King.
Atlanta’s Premier African American History Museum, the APEX museum is re-opened for visitors in a limited capacity. Timed ticketed admission is available on Saturdays from 11 a.m – 3 p.m.
Bearing his name, The King Center has plenty of exhibits and events to commemorate Dr. King’s life. While Freedom Hall is currently closed, there are plenty of open exhibitions still open throughout the 35 acre, indoor/outdoor center.
For our friends in Pittsburgh, there are just as many opportunities to both educate and engage with the local community on MLK Day.
Kelly Strayhorn Theater
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater fosters bold and innovative artistry with a global perspective. This year their celebration is going virtual, and Living the Legacy will highlight Pittsburgh artists and activists who are living and working in Dr. King’s legacy today.
Midland Women’s Civic Club and Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
The Midland Women’s Civic Club is moving their annual celebration online this year, with a keynote being delivered by constitutional law professor and CNN contributor, Michael Higginbotham. The event will be free to stream on both Facebook and YouTube.
Book Drive for Diversity & Family Forum on Equality and Kindness
If you’re looking for a way to get the kiddos involved, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is hosting both a book and a virtual forum for families to engage in meaningful discussions about social justice.
Dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Pittsburgh Pirates hall of famer, the museum offers a look into Clemente’s impact off the field. On MLK Day, you can take part in a virtual visit through the museum, focusing on his humanitarian activism, within the African American community.
One of the benefits of the limitations on in-person events this year is the ability for some of the country’s coolest events to become available to a much wider audience. A few museums who will be hosting MLK Day virtual events this year include:
At Your Own Pace
There is lots of great content out there on the life and legacy of Dr. King, much of which cannot all be consumed in just one day. For the readers out there, consider checking out the following books:
- Strength to Love – Dr. King’s first volume of sermons widely available to a white audience.
- Where do we go from here? – Advocating for human rights and a sense of hope, this was Dr. Kings fourth and last book.
- A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.
For those who prefer audio or visual content, explore:
- Voices of the movement, interviews with those closest to Dr. King recounting when they heard of his assasination.
- WNYC’s “The Strategic King: MLK’s Visionary Leadership.”
- King in the Wilderness, widely regarded as the best documentary on Dr. King.
- The March, the story of the March on Washington told by those who organized and participated.
Regardless of where or how you decide to spend your day on January 18, we hope you take just a few minutes to understand why we still celebrate Dr. King’s impact on our country over fifty years later.