On Monday January 18th, just like every third Monday in January since the year 1983, the United States will celebrate the great activist and politician, Martin Luther King Jr., whose struggle for the recognition of civil rights had a profound historical impact.

His commitment to the fight against violence and exclusion throughout the 50s and 60s decisively influenced the perception and treatment of African-Americans in this country, who suffered strong discrimination and were not fully accepted as equal members of society.

 

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Martin Luther King Jr. played a huge role in the advancement of the African American community, thanks to his political and civil commitment to the right to vote and the right to equality. He gave a voice to those in the minority, empowering those without a say. His message was peace. He valued community, and asserted that anyone was capable of achieving greatness with a “heart full of grace.” His wish was brotherhood among all people in the world.

So it is only fitting that on Monday January 18th, the world will pause to remember this great man. And of course, if you are in New York, there will be many events taking place to honor his memory.

 

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The evening before, on the January 17th, the Apollo Theater will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with a paneled discussion on the changes that he helped create, and the effect his legacy has on the community.

As is their tradition every year on MLK Day, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will hold a public tribute, followed by a free concert, held by the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir and singer Kimberly Nichole.

In Harlem you can visit the Studio Museum, which has several pieces dedicated to Dr. King. This musem, which opened in 1968, was the first to host art exhibitions from the African American community, and for many years was the only one in New York City doing so.

While you’re in that area, don’t forget to take a walk down 125th street, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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Given that we take some time to stop and honor this man every year, it is the hope that his teachings live on. May the world forever remember his iconic words from his famous speech in 1963, in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial during the march on Washington for freedom:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Thank you, Dr. King!

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