How to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Brooklyn

Musicians sing at Martin Luther King Jr. day event at BAM, Jan. 18, 2023
Musicians sing at Martin Luther King Jr. day event at BAM, Jan. 18, 2023
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

This Jan. 15 marks the 38th annual observance of legendary civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday — a day meant to honor and remember of the monumental achievements of the slain activist.

The federal holiday means that many Brooklynites will have the day off of work or school. Here are a few local events which aim to educate and celebrate the life and accomplishments of an extraordinary individual.

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Sunday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 15  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11213

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum will be celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special exhibition featuring interactive performances, community art programs, protest marches and volunteer projects. On each day of the celebration, shadow puppet performances produced by Nehprii Amenii will highlight King’s many civil rights achievements along with musical performances and a march with Brooklyn-based musician, Fyütch

Annual Tribute to MLK

Monday, Jan. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217

BAM celebrates the legacy and radical spirit of King with a series of musical performances and an invigorating call to action from keynote speaker, Reginald Dwayne Betts — a lawyer, poet and the founder and CEO of Freedom Reads, an organization which provides incarcerated individuals with books. Musical performances from choir Sing Harlem and singer Madison McFerrin will uplift the annual tribute event to encourage guests to recharge, reflect and support one another into the new year with the intention to continue King’s legacy. 

MLK Day of Service: Youth Expo

Sunday, Jan. 14 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Buffalo Ave., Brooklyn NY 11213

What better way to honor the life and service of King than through a day of service and community restoration? Led by the young leaders at Girls for Gender Equality, Beginning with Children and more get involved with community activation activities like voter registration, group art and collages, reading, games and more!      

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast

Monday, Jan. 15 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Salem Missionary Baptist Church, 305 E 21st St., Brooklyn, NY 11226

Join NYC Council Members Rita Joseph and Farah Louis and the 2024 Men’s Day Committee at the SMBC annual breakfast honoring the memory of King. Both Council Members will feature as guest speakers at the event as they pay homage to the legendary activist and speak about how their lives were influenced by King. The suggested donation for the event is $10 and be sure to RSVP prior to the event. 

Family Volunteering at Brooklyn Book Bodega

Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Brooklyn Book Bodega, 141 Flushing Ave. Suite 407, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Bring the whole family to the Brooklyn Book Bodega to volunteer and be of service in honor of King’s legacy. Join the Brooklyn Book Bodega team in increasing the supply of books at the Book Hub and stamping and sorting books that have been donated to distribute to the community! The Brooklyn Book Bodega is unable to accommodate children under the age of 10 and make sure to register for the event only if you can indeed attend as spots are limited.