Eight ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Brooklyn

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Don’t just celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by taking the day off work — celebrate the life and work of the great civil rights leader at one of these Brooklyn events!

Come Share the Dream

The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s big annual tribute will include a keynote address by public intellectual Dr. Cornel West and a performance by the New York Fellowship Mass Choir. The event starts at 10:30 am, but tickets are first come, first serve from 8 am, so get in early.

10:30 am at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, (718) 636–4100,]. Free.

‘State of Emergence’

But if you do miss out on tickets, the Fort Greene cultural institution has plenty of other things going on. Like this performance from local students who participated in a distance-learning exchange with fellow teens in Ferguson, Missouri, featuring music, dance, poetry, and theater.

1:30 pm at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher Fishman Space [321 Ashland Pl. between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place, (718) 636–4100,]. Free.

‘The Central Park Five’

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Academy of Music Rose Cinemas will host a free screening of this 2012 Ken Burns documentary about the five young black and Latino men who were falsely convicted of the rape and assault of a white jogger in Central Park in 1989.

1 pm at BAM Rose Cinemas [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, (718) 636–4100,]. Free.

Birthday Bash

For little ones, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is hosting a range of educational activities focusing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Events include a march through the museum, screenings of the animated film “Our Friend, Martin,” and performances by the Berean Community Drumline.

11:30 am–3:30 pm at Brooklyn Children’s Museum [145 Brooklyn Ave. at St. Marks Avenue, (718) 735–4400,]. Free with museum admission.

Freedom Songs and Stories

Or take the kids down to Lefferts Historic Homestead in Prospect Park, where storyteller Tammy Hall will share tunes and tales about freedom.

2–3 pm at Lefferts Historic Homestead [452 Flatbush Ave. between Empire Boulevard and Eastern Parkway, (718) 789–2822,]. Free.

Jacqueline Woodson and Lynda Blackmon Lowery

For teens, BookCourt is hosting a discussion between Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest participant in the marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 and author of “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom,” and Jacqueline Woodson, author of 2014 National Book Award winner “Brown Girl Dreaming.”

4 pm at BookCourt [163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean streets, (718) 875–3677,]. Free.

A Shared Dream

This year’s annual tribute concert at Brooklyn College includes performances by gospel singer Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Mr. Reed, I.E.T. Band, the Brooklyn United Marching Band, Eric, Marcus, and Anhayla Stanley, Devyn Princess of Soca, Born 2 Worship, and more.

5 pm at the Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College [2900 Campus Rd. at Hillel Place, (347) 685–4837,]. Free.


What better day to catch a screening of this best picture Oscar contender? The movie is screening at Brooklyn Academy of Music Rose Cinemas in Fort Greene, Pavilion Cinema in Park Slope, Williamsburg Cinemas, United Artists Court Street Stadium Downtown, Cobble Hill Cinemas, and United Artists Sheepshead Bay Stadium in Sheepshead Bay.

Various times at various cinemas at various prices.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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