MLK Day in Birmingham—honor history in the place where it happened

MLK
MLK
Photo via Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Facebook

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated all across the country, but few places have the opportunity to truly experience history firsthand as Birmingham residents do.

Every year, the nation honors Dr. King and all of the brave men and women who dreamed alongside him. Read on to find out how to celebrate, honor and remember right here in Birmingham.

Friday, January 17

MLK
Photo via Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Facebook

Several branches of The Birmingham Public Library are hosting events.

Steel Magic Theatre will present “Thurgood’’ at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre.

Learn how this supreme court justice changed the American legal landscape and set the stage for civil rights pioneers Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, and Rosa Parks.

  • 2:30PM
  • Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre
  • 800 19th St N, Birmingham, AL
  • Get tickets here
  • Students tickets: $7
  • Adult tickets: $12

Saturday, January 18

MLK
Photo via Birmingham Public Library Archives and Manuscript

MLK Day 5K Drum Run will start and end in the Fourth Avenue Historic District of Birmingham’s Civil Rights District.

Organizations and drum lines from Birmingham metro area schools will be lined up along the racecourse to help keep the beat as runners and walkers pass.

Steel Magic Theatre will present “Thurgood’’ at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre.

Learn how this supreme court justice changed the American legal landscape and set the stage for civil rights pioneers Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, and Rosa Parks.

  • 2:30PM
  • Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre
  • 800 19th St N, Birmingham, AL
  • Get tickets here
  • Students tickets: $7
  • Adult tickets: $12

The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC is hosting several events.

  • Gun buyback | 8AM to 11AM | St. Joseph Baptist Church | 500 9th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35204 | For more information, please contact Jeanette Smith at (205)-587-0751
  • “Youth Explosion – Past-Present-Future,” a conversation on human trafficking and mental health | 11AM | St. Joseph Baptist Church | 500 9th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35204

The Birmingham Public Library, the Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will present “Brothers and Bow ties: A Vision Cast”

  • 12PM to 4PM
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • This pilot initiative targets at-risk young males between the ages of 11 and 18
  • Cost: FREE. However, registration is required for the 50 available spaces
  • Get more information and register here

Sunday, January 19

MLK
Photo via Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Facebook

DeJuan “The Neighborhood Barber” Hall will provide free haircuts for the Birmingham homeless community.

  • 9AM to 12PM
  • Kelly Ingram Park
  • 500 17th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • For more information, please contact Hall at 205-460-6435

Kimberley Mangun of the University of Utah will be the guest speaker for the Birmingham Public Library’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture series known as “Begin the Day.”

Dr. Mangun has written a book about Emory O. Jackson and what he did for civil rights and the African-American community when he worked as the newspaper editor of “The Birmingham World.’’ She will explore the life and career of Jackson. Copies of Dr. Mangun’s book will be available for purchase.

  • 3PM
  • Arrington Auditorium at the Birmingham Public Library
  • 2100 Park Pl, Birmingham, AL 35203

Steel Magic Theatre will present “Thurgood’’ at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre.

Learn how this supreme court justice changed the American legal landscape and set the stage for civil rights pioneers Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, and Rosa Parks.

  • 2:30PM
  • Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre
  • 800 19th St N, Birmingham, AL
  • Get tickets here
  • Students tickets: $7
  • Adult tickets: $12

The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC will host a musical celebration in honor of Dr. King.

  • 4PM
  • Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
  • 2315 26th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35234

Monday, January 20

MLK
Photo via Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Facebook

Free admission to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is one of the most comprehensive sources of education in America regarding the Civil Rights Movement. This interactive museum makes it engaging for all ages to learn and experience history.

In honor of MLK Day, BCRI is offering free admission from 9AM-5PM on Monday, January 20. Stop by and bring any school-aged kiddos in your life—it’s a perfect way to celebrate and remember the life of an extraordinary man.

  • 9AM to 5PM
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast will be held at the BJCC.

This is Birmingham’s biggest forum to celebrate King and his legacy of racial reconciliation. The breakfast also serves as a support event for the annual MLK Scholarship Essay program, providing direct scholarships to high school students throughout the Birmingham region.

  • Doors open 6:30AM
  • The MLK Choir will perform from 7 to 7:30AM
  • Breakfast starts at 7:30AM
  • Ends at 9:30AM
  • BJCC North Exhibition Hall
  • 2150 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N.

Hands On Birmingham will host  “MLK Jr. Day of Service”

For the past 19 years, residents of Birmingham and surrounding areas have donated volunteer hours to give back to the community on MLK Jr. Day of Service.

The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC is hosting several events.

  • Traditional MLK March | 11AM | Starts at City Hall and ends at Kelly Ingram Park | Contact Bishop Calvin W. Woods Sr. for more information at 205-937-5679
  • Civil rights rally | 12PM | Sixteenth Street Baptist Church | 1530 6th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203 | The guest speaker will be the Rev. Michael Wesley of Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
  • MLK “Love Feast: Feed The Homeless and Senior Citizens” | 2PM | Boutwell Auditorium | 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203 | Free Event

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will host a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of their fellow fraternity brother, Dr. King.

  • 11AM
  • Kelly Ingram Park
  • 500 17th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

More than 2,000 high school student-athletes will compete in the MLK Invitational.

  • The event will start at 8AM
  • Athletes will all march around the track at 10AM
  • Birmingham CrossPlex
  • 2337 Bessemer Rd, Birmingham, AL 35208
  • Get more info here

What events and opportunities did we miss? Let us know on social @BhamNow.