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VOL. 11 | NO. 13 | Saturday, March 31, 2018

MLK50 Events: A Roundup of Memphis Happenings

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Here's a selection of events in Memphis marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 sanitation workers' strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. April 3 is the 50th anniversary of King’s last speech – the “Mountaintop” speech at Mason Temple, while April 4 is the 50th anniversary of his assassination on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

Monday, April 2

Shelby County Schools Presents “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts & Education, 225 S. Main St.
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Cost: Free
This Shelby County Schools community program will highlight student talent from across the district through dance, song, art and speech. The evening will start with a reception and Art Walk, where students will have the opportunity to explain the vision behind their pieces honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After the interactive art gallery, attendees will enjoy student performances and guest speakers will select their favorite excerpt from King and how it affects educational or social equity and equality today.

Tuesday, April 3

The FBI and Black America: A 50-Year Retrospective
St. Patrick’s Church, 277 S. Fourth St.
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Cost: Free
This free panel discussion focuses on government surveillance of political activists during the civil rights movement and today. Panelists include David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference”; Kenneth O'Reilly, professor emeritus of history at the University of Alaska-Anchorage; Lerone A. Martin, Washington University professor of Religion and Politics; and Marc Perrusquia, award-winning journalist at The Commercial Appeal.

I AM 2018 “Mountaintop” Speech Commemoration
Temple of Deliverance, 369 G.E. Patterson Ave.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. | Cost: Free
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech with a nationally televised program from Mason Temple that includes Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, the children of the late civil rights leader; ambassador Andrew Young; COGIC presiding bishop Charles Blake; AFSCME president Lee Saunders; and other dignitaries. Overflow seating at Temple of Deliverance is first-come, first-served.

Let Freedom Sing community celebration
Clayborn Temple, 294 Hernando St.
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. | Cost: Free
IRIS Orchestra, Memphis Black Arts Alliance and Indie Memphis host a screening of “Let Freedom Sing,” with an introduction by LeVar Burton and a talk by guest speaker Rev. Harold Middlebrook, who as assistant pastor of Middle Baptist Church in 1968 was among those who invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis on behalf of striking sanitation workers. Preshow musical and spoken word performances highlight the music of the civil rights movement. 

April 4th Foundation Annual Awards Banquet
Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd.
6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. | Tickets: $100
The April 4th Foundation’s I Am A Man Awards honor individuals who strive to keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive and to bring it into being. The 2018 honorees are Jesse Lee Douglas Sr., James Charles Evers, Kris Kristofferson and Joan Trumpauer Mulholland.

Wednesday, April 4

“I Am A Man” Reenactment Photo Shoot
Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, 333 Beale St.
8 a.m. | Cost: Free
The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery will stage a reenactment of photojournalist Ernest Withers’ iconic “I Am A Man” photo from the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike, with the lineup starting at Fourth and Beale streets at 8 a.m. and will feed into AFSCME’s march to Mason Temple. The photo will be taken from a helicopter by Withers’ granddaughter, Eboni Bullard. Register online in advance or at the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery.

I AM 2018 50th Anniversary of Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike and March
8 a.m.: Music + Rally for Justice at AFSCME Local 1733, 485 Beale St.
11 a.m.: March from AFSCME Local 1733 to Mason Temple COGIC
Noon: Culminating rally at Mason Temple, 930 Mason St.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will honor the 50th anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike with a rally for justice at AFSCME headquarters followed by a march to Mason Temple. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rev. Jesse Jackson, ambassador Andrew Young and other dignitaries are scheduled to attend.

MLK50 Day of Remembrance and Commemoration Ceremony
National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St.
10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. | Cost: Free
The National Civil Rights Museum’s 50th anniversary commemoration includes various performances, programs and presentations in the courtyard of the Lorraine Motel, including a nationwide tolling of church bells at 6:01 p.m. A commemoration ceremony at 3:30 p.m. includes the laying of the wreath; comments from Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. William Barber, AFSCME leader Bill Lucy, Urban League President Marc Morial and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; and musical selections from Al Green and Kirk Whalum. The museum itself is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for regular museum admission.

Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation
Forrest Slave Mart historic marker unveiling

Calvary Episcopal Church, 102 N. Second St.
Noon | Cost: Free
Calvary Episcopal, in collaboration with Rhodes College, will dedicate a new historic marker at the site of the antebellum slave mart operated by Nathan Bedford Forrest, near the corner of Adams Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard. The dedication is part of a Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation to be held at Calvary that will also include guest remarks; music by the Rhodes Singers; and a reading of dozens of names of the slaves Forrest sold at the site.

Thursday, April 5

We Remember King Memorial Service
Metropolitan Baptist Church, 767 Walker Ave.
11 a.m. | Cost: Free
LeMoyne-Owen College holds a reenactment of its 1968 memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I Am a Man Plaza Dedication
I Am A Man Plaza, adjacent to Clayborn Temple at Hernando Street and Pontotoc Avenue
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Cost: Free
The city of Memphis dedicates I Am A Man Plaza with a ceremony and open house that will also feature food trucks and live performances. The city plaza is dedicated to the 1,300 city sanitation workers that went on strike in 1968 and includes a wall with the names of the strikers.

Civil Rights Lecture
LeMoyne-Owen College, Little Theater, 807 Walker Ave.
1:15 p.m. | Cost: Free
LeMoyne-Owen College presents a civil rights lecture by former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

A Concert for the Next 50 Years
Clayborn Temple, 294 Hernando St.
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. | Tickets: $19.68; VIP: $50
PRIZM Ensemble presents “A Concert for the Next 50 Years,” a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring the PRIZM Chamber Orchestra, the PRIZM Celebration Chorus, guest soloists and music by Mahler, Florence Price, Moses Hogan, and more.

Friday, April 6

LeMoyne-Owen College 4th Annual Declaration of Major and Award Ceremony
Metropolitan Baptist Church, 767 Walker Ave.
10:30 a.m. | Cost: Free
Rev. James Lawson is the keynote speaker for the college’s award ceremony.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Park Installation
Corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Second Street
1 p.m. | Cost: Free
The city of Memphis formally opens the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Park, a public space for reflection and meditation on King’s legacy. The space is designed to be a point of reference to understand why King was in Memphis and how his presence affected the city, its people and the movement.

Saturday, April 7

Cathedral to City Hall
St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, 700 Poplar Ave.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Cost: Free
St. Mary’s Cathedral and Voices for Justice will re-create the march a group of religious leaders made from the Episcopal cathedral to City Hall, 125 N. Main St., to meet with Mayor Henry Loeb the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The commemoration starts with an 11 a.m. jubilee block party in the church courtyard followed by a 1 p.m. interfaith worship service that will include Rev. James Lawson, James Netters and Nicholas Vieron, along with the Rust College Choir and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir. Then, at 2:15 p.m., participants will march from the church to City Hall, where they will meet with Mayor Jim Strickland and hold a rally at about 3 p.m.

Multiple Days

Monday & Tuesday, April 2-3

MLK50 Symposium: Where Do We Go From Here?
Multiple times and locations
The two-day MLK50 Symposium will convene scholars, historians and thought leaders from across the country to present on the state of civil and human rights issues and racial and economic equity 50 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invited scholars, thought leaders, policy makers and practitioners will share their perspectives and research in a series of panel discussions related to the social justice platforms that Dr. King outlined.

Tuesday & Wednesday, April 3-4

Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop
Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St.
Hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition, this special event marks an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and the culture. Key speakers include Matt Chandler, Jackie Hill Perry, Eric Mason, Russell Moore, John Piper, Benjamin Watson, and many others.

PROPERTY SALES 39 202 12,960
MORTGAGES 25 110 8,113
BUILDING PERMITS 114 645 30,579
BANKRUPTCIES 37 122 6,186