NYC Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ~ January 15, 2024




Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in West Potomac Park, Washington, D.C.

January 15th will mark the celebration of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., with a National Day of Service throughout the Country. It is also a Federal and State  holiday. This year’s theme is “Shifting the cultural climate through the study and practice of Kingian Nonviolence.” This is a sustainable solution to injustice and violence in the world, according to The King Center.

Let us begin the celebration at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on January 4th.

January 4, 2024 ~ CBFS: New Perspectives on Coretta Scott King & Dr. Martiin Luther King, Jr. at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

A virtual conversation offering new perspectives on the lives and legacies of Coretta Scott King & Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. This is a free event with Registration.


January 14, 2024 ~ Uptown Hall: The Inconvenient King at The Apollo Theater

This year’s presentation focuses on a renewed commitment to understanding the context, confronting the complexity, and elevating our collective consciousness in the face of injustice and discrimination. Free tickets available beginning Tuesday, January 2nd.


Brooklyn Children’s Museum Celebrates MLK Day January 14-15

Photo credit: Winston Williams, Brooklyn Children’s Museum

On Sunday, January 14, and Monday, January 15, Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) invites families to come celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a dynamic and engaging two-day program, “Celebrate MLK at BCM.” This special event will feature interactive performances, protest marches, community art programs, and volunteer projects for families to commemorate the values and convictions of Dr. King.


January 15, The 38th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo: Flip Schulke Archives/Corbis Premium Historical via Getty Images courtesy

Featuring uplifting performances by Sing Harlem and singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin, this annual tribute invites us to reflect, recharge, and support one another as we carry on Dr. King’s relentless pursuit of equality and justice.

The celebration continues with a free screening of Rustin at 1pm at BAM Rose Cinemas and family friendly activities presented by BAMkids in The Adam Space. Learn more and RSVP below!


January 15, a Day of Service with NYC Parks

Celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Day of Service. Join NYC Parks Department and its volunteers to help clean up and care for parks across the five boroughs.


If you are in Washington, D.C.:

January 15 ~ The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. at National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy with various educational opportunities throughout January. From in-person activities to online offerings, the museum commemorates King and the holiday surrounding his impact on the world. Beginning Jan. 8, 2024, King’s original “I Have a Dream” speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, on loan from Villanova University, will be on display through March 4, 2024. For digital visitors looking to learn more about King online, a blog post highlighting surprising facts about King’s life is now available at

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is located at 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. This is a Free event with Registration.


Available all year round:

Take a Historic Harlem Walking Tour

Mural ‘Spirit of Harlem’ by artist Louis Del Sarte, Commissioned for the people of Harlem by North Fork Bank, 2005 and restored and dedicated to the Harlem community in 2018. Located on the corner of 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. in Harlem. Photo credit: AFineLyne

Harlem-based tour company Welcome To Harlem originated in 2004 with tour guides who are born and raised in the neighborhood. Tours range from walking tours through historic neighborhoods to jamming jazz and gospel brunch.

New from Welcome to Harlem, Harlem Roots. Take a Harlem Civil Rights Virtual Tour!

Traverse Harlem, learn its personalities, and play your way through the Harlem Renaissance with Harlem-Opoly, the Board Game.


African American Landmarks & Historic Districts in New York City by NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

nyc Landmarks Preservation Commission Site ~ Cover Image: This bird’s eye view of New York City, including Brooklyn, was created by John Backman in 1859. Source: Bird’s eye view of the city of New York. Brooklyn. Williamsburg. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library Digital Collections

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) created an interactive story map to celebrate New York City’s African American history through its designated places. Entitled Preserving Significant Places of Black History, it celebrates New York City’s African American history through designated landmarks and historic districts. For five decades LPC has been recognizing, supporting, and celebrating places of African American cultural and historic significance through designation. This story map highlights landmarks and historic districts that illustrate the experiences and achievements of African Americans through interactive maps, narrative text, images, and multimedia content.


NYC Landmarks Preservation ‘Seneca Village Unearthed’ Online

1855 Viele Topographic Survey with the added outline of Seneca Village, courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)  launched the site, Seneca Village Unearthed, an online exhibitand collection of artifacts from what was once New York City’s largest community of free African-American landowners. Seneca Village was located in what is now Central Park, a scenic landmark. Through this online exhibit and collection, the general public will for the first time have access to nearly 300 artifacts and get a glimpse of what life was like for Seneca villagers in the mid-19th century


Central Park Conservancy Honors History by Adding Seneca Village Signage

Photo credits: The Central Park Conservancy developed this program of interpretative signage based on research conducted by the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH), with additional research and content development by the Conservancy and Hunter Research, Inc. Project management by Hunter Research, Inc. and graphic design by Douglas Scott. Sign fabrication by Pannier Graphics. The IESVH includes Cynthia Copeland, Paul Johnson, Celedonia Jones, Meredith Linn, Nan Rothschild, Herbert Seignoret, Diana diZerega Wall, and Sharon Wilkins.

The Central Park Conservancy launched its first major interpretive signage initiative in Central Park to commemorate Seneca Village, a predominantly African American community that existed before the City of New York created Central Park. The interpretive signs build on decades of research, including the work of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH) — a group of scholars and archeologists who have been studying Seneca Village — as well as the Conservancy’s deep knowledge of the history of Central Park and long involvement in the study of Seneca Village.


Visit The Historic African Burial Ground

The Maerschalck map of the City of New York is a historic map made in 1754 that clearly shows the African Burial Ground and its surrounding neighborhood. Library of Congress

African Burial Ground (managed by the National Park Service) is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans. It protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. The Visitors Center is located at 290 Broadway; The outside memorial is located at the intersection of African Burial Ground Way (formerly Elk Street) and Duane Street.


Activist New York at Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its exhibition Activist New York. Walk through a timeline of New Yorkers banding together on a wide range of issues from civil rights and wages to sexual orientation and religious freedom.


Visit the Oldest African-American Musical Organization in the Country ~ NAMA

Founded in 1904, the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the country. It was founded at a time when the musicians union didn’t admit minority musicians, and the law stated that one had to be in the union in order to perform in New York City!


MTA Arts & Design Celebrates Black History + Culture with its treasure trove of artwork within the MTA System

Artist, Beatrice Lebreton ‘Wisdom Along the Way’, 2017 at Rockaway Avenue

MTA Arts & Design honors Black history throughout all five boroughs. Read about the artists who created the work, where the artwork is located and the meaning behind each piece.


Explore the History of Victor Hugo Green and The Green Books Online Through The Schomburg Center

Covers of The Negro Motorist Green Book published by Victor H. Green: 1940, 1956, and 1962. Public access via the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, New York Public Library

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture houses the full digital collection of Green Books and other similar guides.


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“I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World” a special 75th Anniversary Edition.