Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 15, and various local organizations are celebrating what would have been the iconic civil rights leader’s 89th birthday with events featuring readings, talks, musical performances, movie screenings, and more.
Honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King at these events happening throughout Brooklyn.
32nd Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When: Monday, January 15, 10:30am
Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene
What: Presented by BAM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York, this is New York City’s largest public celebration honoring Dr. King. This free event brings world-renowned activists, intellectuals, and civic leaders together with musicians and other performers to pay tribute to King’s legacy and keep his message alive. This year, BAM welcomes keynote speaker, the author and educator Jelani Cobb. The celebration also features a film screening, discussion, and art exhibition.
How much: Free. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-seated basis starting at 8am in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House lobby.
I Have A Dream Celebration
When: Saturday, January 13 through Monday, January 15
Where: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Crown Heights
What: The Brooklyn Children’s Museum honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with three days of history and fun, celebrating themes of diversity, equality, freedom, and resistance.
How Much: Admission $11
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.
When: Saturday, January 13, 1pm to 4:30pm
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Macon Library, 361 Lewis Avenue, Bed-Stuy
What: Hear spirituals performed by baritone Jorell Williams and excerpts of Dr. King’s speeches read by actor Michael Rogers. There will also be a musical presentation by string musicians from the Noel Pointer Foundation as well as a screening of Selma at 2pm.
The 33rd Annual Family Celebration of Dr. King
When: Saturday, January 13, 1:30pm to 3:30pm (doors open at 1pm)
Where: Medgar Evers College, Founders Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights
What: Medgar Evers College hosts the 33rd Annual Family Festival celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King. Twenty-seven elementary, middle school, and high school students will present their prize-winning art, essays, and poetry, and all kids in attendance will receive a free educational gift.
The Spirit of Hope: A Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Featuring Lester Lynch
When: Saturday, January 13, 5pm to 6pm
Where: Brooklyn Music School, 126 Saint Felix Street, Fort Greene
What: Brooklyn Music School presents it’s 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute concert hosted by renowned baritone and BMS advisory board member Lester Lynch. Inspired by Dr. King’s legacy and message, the program will feature selections from Lynch’s recent recording On My Journey Now: Spirituals & Hymns as well as performances by BMS faculty and students.
How Much: Tickets $5
Martin Luther King, Jr. Service “Making A Bigger Impact”
When: Monday, January 15, 10:30am to 12pm
Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 279 Lafayette Avenue, Clinton Hill
What: Guest Preacher Rev. Starsky D. Wilson
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Storytelling & Music Event
When: Monday, January 15, 11am to 2:30pm
Where: Grace Reformed Church of Flatbush, 1800 Bedford Avenue between Lincoln Road & Lefferts Avenue, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
What: Started in 2011, this annual event run by volunteers including high school students and college students from Medgar Evers and LIU Brooklyn, fosters literacy and awareness of the Civil Rights Movement. There will be performances, free activities, and a complimentary lunch at 12:15pm.
Bay Ridge MLK Day March Against Racism, Poverty, and Militarism
When: Monday, January 15, 12pm to 4pm
Where: Salam Arabic Lutheran Church of Brooklyn, 414 80th Street, Bay Ridge
What: For the past two years, Bay Ridge locals have come together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor the legacy of Dr. King by showing that hate has no place in Bay Ridge and acknowledging King’s premise that the three evils of poverty, racism, and militarism, that fuel a vicious cycle of violence, must end. The family-friendly, mile-long march begins at Salam Arabic Lutheran Church and heads up 5th Avenue to the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center on 6th Avenue between 62nd and 63rd streets. A rally featuring speeches from activists and spoken word artists will close off the day.
Annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Service
When: Monday, January 15, 1pm to 2pm
Where: Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street (at 7th Avenue), Park Slope
What: All are welcome to join this interfaith prayer service honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to pray for justice and peace in the world, nation, and Brooklyn.
Families Celebrate Africa – A Martin Luther King Jr Day Event
When: Monday, January 15, 4pm-5:30pm
Where: Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West (at 2nd Street), Park Slope
What: The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture hosts a fun-filled family event to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr, featuring African music, drumming, and dance, face painting, African crafts and activities, stories, food, and costumes. DuPree and Barry Kornhauser will perform songs about MLK’s life and Simba Yangala and the dancers from JungleDom will guide children through an African dance lesson, followed by a performance that welcomes participation from all. Proceeds from this event will help provide scholarships for BSEC’s Ethics for Children Classes as well as help with the Society’s campaign for an accessibility ramp.
How much: Tickets $5 to $20
Martin Luther King’s The Drum Major Instinct
When: Sunday, February 4, 2pm to 4pm
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights
What: A dramatic reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon delivered 50 years ago on February 4, 1968, The Drum Major Instinct—a powerful, cautionary speech about the impulse in all humans to be first—with the goal of generating a powerful dialogue about racism, inequality, and social justice, fostering compassion, understanding, and positive action. The reading will be accompanied by original and arranged music composed and conducted by Phil Woodmore, featuring a choir of diverse singers, including police officers and their spouses, teachers, activists, and members of the faith community from St. Louis, Missouri.