A number of NYC institutions pay homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of racial equality with special events on the weekend of January 15–18. In addition, places like the Studio Museum of Harlem, Weeksville Heritage Center and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture always have something to offer those interested in African-American history and culture, regardless of the time of year.
Movement: A Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Greene Space
Culture, performance and civil rights come together in this series of dance and musical works. Choreographer Nai Ni Chen and a cappella group Diversity Youth Theater will be among the acts taking part.
Whistle in Mississippi: The Lynching of Emmett Till at the Joseph Kennedy Community Center
Harlem-based Shades of Truth Theatre presents this dramatic rendering of Emmett Till's story. Fourteen-year-old Chicago native Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he caused a stir by talking to a white woman in her shop. The woman's husband and his half brother rousted Till in the middle of the night; abducted, beat and shot him; and dropped him in a nearby river. The two men were acquitted of murder.
Art and Civil Rights Gallery Tour at the Brooklyn Museum
Learn about social change through art on this tour of the Brooklyn Museum's collection. On January 16 there's also a collage workshop where you can put art and activism into action.
BeBe Winans at Kupferberg Center for the Arts
Gospel singer BeBe Winans takes the stage for a special MLK tribute concert; a speech by Reverend Floyd Flake, of the Greater Allen AME Cathedral, will also be part of the proceedings.
Civil Rights Then and Now: Black Power at 50 at the DiMenna Children's History Museum at the New-York Historical Society
The kids' museum within the New-York Historical Society will hold a panel discussion that seeks to educate young ones (suggested ages, 9 and up) about the long and difficult fight for racial equality.
Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK's Two Americas at the Apollo Theater
WNYC talk show hosts Brian Lehrer and Jami Floyd will moderate a discussion centering on institutional racism; others scheduled to appear include journalists Jose Antonio Vargas and Taylor Branch and filmmaker Rokhaya Diallo. Free
Brooklyn Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at Brooklyn Academy of Music
Artists, activists and civic leaders come together at BAM for the City's largest event commemorating Dr. King. In addition to performances by Kimberly Nichole and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, there will be a screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and a book signing by Michael Eric Dyson. Free
MLK Day at the Grace Reformed Church of Flatbush
The Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with Fort Greene's Greenlight Bookstore, puts on this family-friendly day of music, dance, literature and craft making. Free