January 07, 2021
For the first time, the African American Museum in Philadelphia's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will be a virtual event, due to COVID-19.
It will run from Saturday, Jan. 16, through the holiday on Monday, Jan. 18. The family-friendly activities will celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights activist.
Programming includes a special screening of the acclaimed documentary "John Lewis: Good Trouble," which gives an intimate account of U.S. Rep. John Lewis' life, legacy and activism. Lewis died at 80 in 2020. He spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial just before King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
There also will be a reading and discussion with Philadelphia Poet Laureate Trapeta Mayson and virtual tours of the museum's newest exhibition "Rendering Justice," created in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia.
The theme for AAMP's celebration this year is "What can we do for others?" It's inspired by King famously saying "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" The theme will be explored through the weekend's activities and an online service project done in partnership with the Smithsonian.
Each day of the celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. with an opening message and a dramatic reading by Philadelphia's Theatre in the X. It will be followed by a 45-minute workshop at 10:30 a.m., where youth mentors will guide participants to reflect, share and create their own dream banner.
Each morning will wrap up with the online service project, Transcribe-A-Thon, at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers will transcribe the Freedman's Bureau Records from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This will allow the content to become text-searchable online, making the historical materials more accessible.
More information on each day's specific activities is available at AAMP's website.
Also, AAMP will share a conversation with Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen and former player and coach Milt Thompson. The discussion will focus on race, baseball and social justice in today's society. It will be made available to stream throughout the weekend.
All of the programing is free and open to the public due to a $30,000 contribution on behalf of the Citizens Charitable Foundation. This is the 15th year that Citizens and AAMP have teamed up to celebrate the life and legacy of King.