Martin Luther King Jr.

News about the producers of Baltimore’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade have dominated headlines for the past week.

But Jan. 15 will mark the late civil rights leader’s birthday, and groups across Charm City are focusing on paying tribute to King’s legacy.

One of the most popular events is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. The parade will be held at noon on Jan. 16 on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

This will be the city’s first MLK parade since the beginning of the pandemic, with events in 2020 and 2021 canceled due to COVID-19.

That same day, the American Visionary Art Museum will hold their MLK Dare to Dream Day. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 16, AVAM will honor “one of history’s greatest visionaries,” the museum says on its website.

AVAM’s celebration will feature a button-making workshop, open mic and poetry slam, performances by drummers and dancers, a storyteling hour, and more. The museum will also collect donations for Paul’s Place, including new and unused toiletries, winter hats and gloves.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum will honor King by exploring the question “Where do we go from here?” From noon to 6 p.m. Jan. 16, the museum will host a series of events, including performances by youth group AMP Up! and the Broadway cast of “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope” from noon to 1 p.m. Then, from 2 to 3 p.m., Keith Snipes and Company will perform songs paying tribute to King and the Civil Rights Movement.

Before Mayor Brandon Scott announced that Baltimore would hold its MLK Jr. Day Parade this year after all, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts encouraged residents to dedicate themselves to a day of service. Though the parade is back on, there’s time for service as well. Residents can find opportunities at https://americorps.gov/newsroom/events/mlk-day.

Some other events to honor King in Baltimore include:

Black Wall Street, Thursday, Jan. 12, 6-8 p.m., Terra Cafe. Shop Black entrepreneurs during a Black Wall Street event at Terra Cafe.

Memorial Breakfast, Friday, Jan. 13, 8:30-10:30 a.m., The Y in Druid Hill. Start your day with a bite to eat, while listening to keynote speaker Bishop Lisa M. Weah, D.Min. from the New Bethlehem Baptist Church and performances from Y students.

MLK Jr. Day Celebration, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2-4 p.m., Walters Art Museum. Author, poet and Coppin State University professor Kondwani Fidel has curated an afternoon of spoken word poetry in tribute to King. The event will be hosted by writer Wallace Lane. It will also feature rapper Eddie Vanz, as well as a performance by Fidel accompanied by musician and Love Groove Festival founder John Tyler.

MLK Convocation, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m., Loyola University Maryland. Father Bryan Massingale will give Loyola’s 30th annual MLK Convocation address. Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead will moderate “Racial Justice Then and Now: Honoring the Past, While Looking to the Future. The convocation is free and open to the public, but the university is encouraging attendees to register in advance.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...

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