National Museum of African American History and Culture Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Virtual Annual Community Program, A People's Holiday
January 14, 2021
NMAAHC Community Day: A People’s Holiday
On Monday, January 18, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, the museum celebrates this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its annual community program A People’s Holiday, named for Coretta Scott King’s famous quote stating the holiday “is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday”. The program features six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride in a digital performance inspired by his social justice-focused album, The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons. The 45-minute concert of jazz and poetry will feature performances of students from The Julliard School and a poetry reading by Evie Shockley. The concert will conclude with a conversation between McBride and Shockley moderated by Dwandalyn Reece, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs. This concert honors Dr. Kings’ commitment to racial quality, justice, and service.
To attend, simply register via the website and let us know if you have any questions or would like to interview an attendee following the programs’ conclusion. Or watch live on the museum’s ustream channel.
Along with our annual celebration, the museum is sharing ways the public can support and help others on this national day of service on the museum’s website at https://nmaahc.si.edu/people’s-holiday this week.
Poor People’s Campaign Exhibition and MLK in NMAAHC Collection
Previously on view at the National Museum of American History from December 2018 - February 2019, City of Hope: Resurrection City & the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s daring vision to end poverty in the United States. With newly discovered photographs and videos, the exhibition encouraged visitors to explore this important chapter in U.S. history.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture has made the exhibition available as a traveling poster exhibition, which features 18 posters, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daring vision for economic justice and opportunity for every U.S. citizen, based on an exhibit developed by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
More information on the exhibition can be found in the City of Hope press kit here.
Additionally, the museum has several objects related to Martin Luther King Jr in its collection. Explore all Martin Luther King Jr. related objects in the museum’s collection here. Through the Smithsonian Institution Open Access initiative, select images from our collection related to MLK can be used without permissions from the Smithsonian and found here.
NMAAHC Blog on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Origins
On MLK Day, the museum will debut a new blog detailing the history of Martin Luther King Jr. Day from its introduction into legislation from Congressman John Conyers to Stevie Wonders creation of the song “Happy Birthday” in support of the campaign to honor King. In the blog, the museum explores the legislative fight to federally recognize the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The museum’s blog on the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service and other blogs discussing Martin Luther King’s legacy will be available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/blog and https://nmaahc.si.edu/people’s-holiday this week.