Celebrating the Life and Legacy of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Theme: Speaking Truth to Power
Monday, January 18 – 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
The National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of one of the most prolific humanitarians and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the holiday celebration on Monday, January 18. The Museum will host a full day focused on service and remembrance of Dr. King’s impact on our nation and around the world. Activities include daylong family entertainment, youth-centered learning, and the National Civil Rights Museum experience. In the spirit of community service, the museum will hold its annual Mid-South Food Bank Drive and Lifeblood Drive, and serve as a center for community resources and engagement.
This year’s theme “Speaking Truth to Power” is intended to lift the discussion on community awareness and involvement in pursuit of social justice and social change. The theme is a call for transparency and accountability from both the authority and the citizenry through thoughtful dialogue, activism, policy changes and fair enforcement. The Museum has made its mission to chronicle key episodes of the American Civil Rights Movement, examine today’s global civil and human rights issues, provoke thoughtful debate and serves as a catalyst for positive change. On the King Holiday, and throughout the year, the Museum’s work is to spark individuals and organizations across Memphis, the country and the world to speak truth to power and do something to affect positive change.
King Day Highlights
- Visitors can tour the museum from 8am – 6pm. Included in the tour is the new exhibit Cultural Heroes, a series of gigantic sculptures that pay tribute to musicians who were key role players during the Civil Rights Movement.
- All day entertainment, a children’s pavilion with fun learning activities, community organizations resource area and a voter registration drive.
- Entertainment throughout the day on the Founders Park mainstage will feature a variety of performances including King Ellis, Stax Music Academy, Watoto de Afrika, Ekpe Abioto African drummers, Mighty Souls Brass Band, Cordova High School Choir and spoken word artists. The emcee is DJ Len Williamson. Special guests, media personalities and food vendors will also be on site.
- Children’s activities will be held in outdoor tents from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts (decorating a birthday cake celebrating Dr. King, creating their own craft megaphone and message buttons to learn the significance of the using their voices to affect change.
Because the safety of museum visitors is a priority, enhanced security measures will be enforced. As has become protocol for attractions and large venues, the museum will adopt security checkpoints at campus perimeter and building entrances, along with street closures surrounding the campus. Visitors are encouraged to bring only necessary items to King Day to expedite bag inspections and metal detector screenings.
Museum visitors should leave behind weapons, tools, self-defense items that might trigger an alarm during the metal detection and bag check process. Guests will be asked to return any prohibited items to their vehicles before gaining access to the museum campus.
Some Prohibited Items
- Firearms or Ammunition of any kind – BB gun, pellet gun, flare gun, or replicas of guns
- Self Defense Items – billy club, nunchucks, martial arts weapons, stun guns, mace or pepper spray
- Sharp Objects – knives, swords scissors, box cutters, razors, ice pick
- Tools – crowbar, hammers, saws, axes & hatchets, drills
Street will be closed between 6am and 6pm on January 18 at these intersections (SEE MAP):
- Mulberry at G.E. Patterson
- G.E. Patterson at St. Martin
- St. Martin at Butler
- Butler at South Main
- Huling Ave between South Main and St. Martin.
Annual Mid-South Food Bank Drive
Receive $2 Off Admission with Canned Good/Non-Perishable Food Donations
Observed as a day of service, the King Holiday at the Museum is a chance for visitors to give back to the community and receive discounted admission by making food donations to benefit Mid-South Food Bank. Visitors bringing canned goods or non-perishable items receive $2 off admission on January 18 only.
Non-perishable items include canned meats (tuna, stews, chili, Spam, soups), canned fruit and veggies, canned juices, and peanut butter. NO glass containers.
The Food Drive is just one way everyone can serve the community and take in important history while honoring Dr. King’s legacy. One of Dr. King’s last initiatives was the Poor People’s Campaign, so giving to help the less fortunate furthers this cause. Feed the need!
King Day LifeBlood Drive
With blood donation, receive free admission for up to 4 people on King Day only.
Give the gift of life during the King Holiday. Lifeblood mobiles will be onsite on the January 18 from 7:00am to 5:00pm to receive blood donations. Donors receive free admission valid only on King Day for up to four people with a one-pint donation. Also, donors who give blood the week of January 11-17 at Lifeblood Centers receive an admission voucher for King Day.
Did you know that 90% of everyone who lives in the Mid-South will need a blood transfusion before they turn 70? Unfortunately, less than 10% of the population actually donates. Visit a Lifeblood Donor Center or mobile event today and bring along a friend. Together, you can save up to six lives in under an hour.
The Museum thanks the following in-kind sponsors and corporate volunteers without whom the King Day festivities would not be possible.
AABE (Memphis Light Gas & Water)
Bank of America
Caesars Caesar’s Heroes
U.S. Corp of Engineers
UT Health Science Center
COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS:
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis
Mid-South Transplant Foundation
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.