The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, right, and Bishop Julian Smith, left, flank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during I AM A MAN civil rights march in Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1968. Photo: Jack Thornell, AP.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. King’s legacy lives on as the fight for equality continues. Join the National Civil Rights Museum and other organizations as they host events to honor his life and the monumental trail he blazed that changed the course of history.
- Wednesday, January 31st – MLK50 Social Justice Film Series Kick-off – 4 pm to 6 pm
Join the Memphis Libraries as they screen ACORN and the Firestorm (followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Rueben Atlas). Happening on the second floor of the University of Memphis McWherter library, it will be the first of eight films to highlight the legacy of MLK and the impact his work in the social justice field have affected the country.
- February 21st to 22nd – NEDtalks Social Justice
NEDtalks is an event for faculty and graduate students of the University of Memphis to share their recent research in engaging and entertaining 15-minute presentations in the University of Memphis McWherter Library. In honor of MLK50, speakers will present speeches on social justice related topics.
- Wednesday, February 28th – MLK50 Hometowner Shorts – 7 pm to 9 pm
Indie Film Memphis will be presenting powerful local short films at the Civil Rights Museum.
- March 2nd to 4th – I AM MLK50 Celebration – 7:30 pm
Ballet Memphis presents four short works—I Am a Child, I Am a Woman, I Am a Man and I Am in a show honoring the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Tickets are $15.
- Saturday, March 3rd – Imagine That! – 4 pm
Designed for middle school students and above, this two-hour curriculum allows participants to explore topics related to Dr. King and create movement and written works surrounding it. The event is free, but reservations are encouraged.
- Monday, March 12th – Moral Monday – 5:30 pm
Moral Mondays in Memphis is inspired by Dr. King’s work to build support for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which was launched earlier this month by Repairers of the Breach. Guest speaker, Rev. Traci Blackmon, is the Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO.
- April 2nd to 3rd – “Where do we go from here?” Symposium
The two-day MLK50 Symposium will convene scholars, historians and thought leaders from across the country to present on the state of civil and human rights issues and racial and economic equity 50 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Symposium will take place April 2-3, 2018, and will culminate with a commemorative ceremony on April 4, 2018, of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination at the historic Lorraine Motel.
- April 4th – 50th Anniversary Commemoration – All-Day
On April 4th, at 6:01 pm, Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel. Now, the site is the National Civil Rights Museum and it is leading the charge in continuing MLK’s work. The day’s activites include:
- Daylong activities in the Museum Courtyard with main stage entertainment, spoken word, speakers.
- The 6:01 50th Anniversary Commemoration – National speakers, partnership with the City of Memphis, musical/vocal/spoken word tributes, national media on site. Free to the public.
- Evening of Storytelling – Civil Rights Icons and New Movement Leaders, national and local, dialogue about “the movement” then and now. This will be a ticketed event.