MLK Day Celebrations in Brooklyn

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' - Dr. King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a national holiday, an opportunity to reflect upon the important, historic role that non-violent, organized civil resistance and faith has played in securing the civil and human rights of all American citizens.

To follow is a list of educational and celebratory events and activities in and around the area leading up to Dr. King’s birthday on Monday, January 16.


  • Join Habitat for Humanity at the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church for “Building on the Dream,” a celebration of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” on January 14, at 2pm., at 869 Halsey St, Bklyn. The Keynote Address will be given by the Honorable Karim Camara,  of the 43rd A.D., and Pastor of Abundant Life Church. A commemorative poem in King’s honor will be performed by the NYCHA Youth Chorus and Jonathan Walton of the Intervarsity NYC Urban Project. The event is free. RSVP at mfang@habitatnyc.org.
  • The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, located at 145 Brooklyn Avenue, has an entire weekend of activities to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday: Saturday, January 14, from 2:30–3:30pm (Ages 6 and up), Explore the big ideas and images that surround the legacy of the great civil rights leader. Investigate symbols and slogans of the Civil Rights Movement. Create your own living legacy collage.  On Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15, “Let’s Join Hands,” from 2:30- 3:30pm. Explore the differences and similarities of various cultures and we learn about tolerance and peace. Learn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of friendship and love as he joined hands with people of all colors on his march to freedom. Create a hand wreath to take home.
  • Join 500 Men Making a Difference for its Martin Luther King Jr. 72 Hour Painting Project and Breakfast, beginning at midnight Friday January 13th and ending at midnight Monday January 16th at the Paul Robeson Theatre, 40 Greene ave Bklyn, NY. Over a straight 72-hour period, the 500 Men organization will clear the first floor of the Paul Robeson Theater at 40 Greene Ave. in Downtown Brooklyn. We believe this is a fitting way to pay tribute to a man that was committed to uplifting the community and the people. In addition, 500 Men will host a men’s breakfast at 9:00am on MLK day at 525 Waverly Pl.   This effort is being coordinated by community minded men who want to work collectively in large groups to make a difference in the communities they live in. Please join us to put the Man back in Manhood and accomplish some tangible goals together.


SUNDAY, January 15, 2012

  • The First Berean Baptist Church will hold its first MLK Day Celebration, on Sunday, January 15, at 4:00pm, with guest preacher and speaker Congressman Ed Towns of the 10thCongressional District. First Berean is located at 1635 Dr. Hylton L. James Boulevard (Bergen at Rochester Avenue), Bklyn, NY. The event is free and open to the public
  • In the 1950s, de-segregating schools was a major focus in the fight for racial equality. Half a century later, equality in education is still a major battleground, but the fight has changed from access to schools to what happens inside them. On January 15 at 3:00pm, WNYC’s sixth annual MLK Celebration will explore this enduring issue with In MLK’s Footsteps: Education as a Civil Right at the . WNYC's Brian Lehrer and political journalist Jami Floyd will lead a discussion with Brown v. Board of Ed plaintiff John A. Stokes, historians, academics, education experts, and cultural critic Touré about the “evolution of the civil rights struggle around education since King’s time, and what’s left to be done in education reform.” It’s free and open to the public, but you must make a reservation here.

MONDAY, January 16, 2012

  • On Monday, January 16, at 10:30am, BAM will celebrate its 26th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York will present. This celebration is New York City’s largest public celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, BAM welcomes keynote speaker Dennis M. Walcott, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Musical performances by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely and The Institutional Radio Choir C.O.G.I.C. of Brooklyn round out the program. Following the event in the Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas presents a free screening of the film The Black Power Mixtape 1967—1975. Featuring never-before-seen interviews with many leaders of the Black Power Movement this moving documentary features a treasure trove of footage shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Free! First come, first seated. One ticket per person.
  • On Monday, January 16,  The Brooklyn Botanic Gadren, located at 900 Washington Avenue, will offer free admission from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Come enjoy the winter flora in a peaceful stroll through the park. 
  • On Monday, January 16, from 1:30 – 2:30pm at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, located at 145 Brooklyn Avenue, hear about the day (Wednesday, August 28, 1963) that Civil Rights activist, Ms. Yolanda Clarke attended the "March on Washington (D.C.) for Jobs and Freedom." Listen as she describes the moments leading up to and including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech advocating for racial harmony on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial.  Afterwards, participate in a discussion with Ms. Clarke about her place in history, listen to renowned opera signer, Lawrence Craig, Jr., as he pays tribute in song to our beloved Dr. King and view a recording of one of the most noted events in history. (Due to limited capacity, tickets will be issued for this presentation starting at 12:30pm in our lobby.  Tickets are free with admission to the museum)


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