Current civil right activists, musicians, civic leaders and the public will gather together in the Howard Gilman Opera House within the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue for a communal commemoration and reflection of the life and legacy of King.
The 32nd edition will feature writer and educator Jelani Cobb as the keynote speaker. Cobb, a staff writer for the “New Yorker” and a Columbia University School of Journalism professor, is also the author of “Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress” and other works exploring the complexity of race in America society.
There will also be additional free events scheduled on the BAM campus, including a BAM and Greenlight Bookstore “Unbound” book launch, reading and discussion of “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir” by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and author Asha Bandele.
“The fact that this event continues to draw the biggest crowd in New York City on Martin Luther King Day year after year shows his enduring significance in our society,” said BAM President Katy Clark. “His messages are a comfort in times of sorrow, a rallying cry in times of turmoil, and a testament to our ability to lift each other up when we set our minds to it.”
On January 12th and 13th at 9 p.m., there will be two BAMcafé Live performances by artist Angela Johnson at 30 Lafayette Ave. in the Lepercq Space. Johnson, a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer, has recorded six solo albums and her songs are rooted in classical R&B but infused with a sense of contemporary social urgency.
The Tribute on Martin Luther King Jr. Day will also feature music performances by Martha Redbone and The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir.
The day-of events also include a film screening and the annual community art exhibition, “Picture the Dream,” featuring works by students from the Atlantic Terminal Community Center. The students created original artwork inspired by King's dream of freedom and equality. The exhibition will be up until February 9th at the Lepercq Space.
Though the event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15) is free, the Tribute tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-seated basis starting at 8am in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House lobby. Events will commence at 10 a.m. For further information, please call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 or visit BAM.org.