MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Note: The video above is from this past MLK Day.
The Special "Remember MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment” will air Saturday April, 4th, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on CW30 and here on LocalMemphis.com.
The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel will present a virtual commemoration in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy on April 4, the 52nd anniversary of his death. Since the pandemic surge, the museum has retooled its original event to produce digital content and a virtual broadcast entitled, “Remember MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment.” The program airs at 5:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Central Saturday, April 4, on the museum’s website, YouTube, Facebook, Livestream platforms.
Each year the Museum commemorates the tragic event that occurred on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968. This year, the virtual commemoration on April 4 will include some of the best segments of MLK50 and past ceremonies with remarks from civil rights icons Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Rev. James Lawson, and Dr. Omid Safi, Islamic Studies Duke University. Performances include selections from the MLK50 Legacy Choir and spoken word by Ed Mabrey. The broadcast will culminate with an excerpt of The Mountaintop speech and a moment of silence and reflection at 6:01pm, the time Dr. King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.
“We should always stop and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King on April 4, but this year it is needed more than ever as we try to navigate through this public health crisis,” said Museum President Terri Lee Freeman. “Dr. King’s message of economic equity is so relevant. We are seeing the devastation this crisis is taking not just on the health of our communities but on the economic wellbeing of our neighbors. We are seeing just how fragile the financial safety net is for far too many people. Celebrating King’s acceptance of humanity, but disdain of inequity and injustice, is very important in 2020,” she said.
Beginning, Saturday, March 28, the week prior to the virtual broadcast, the museum will share digital elements to highlight the final year in the life and works of Dr. King – from his delivery of the “Beyond Vietnam” speech, to the “Mountaintop” speech hours prior to his assassination, and subsequent reactions. Key components shared on the museum’s digital platforms will include:
- MUSICIANS CALL TO ACTION – To highlight what is considered one of Dr. King’s favorite songs, “Precious Lord,” musicians are asked to submit on April 4th via social media their rendition of the song made famous by Mahalia Jackson. Musicians are asked to hashtag #PreciousLord and #RememberingMLK so their posts can be shared.
- STORYTIME – At Museum educator, Dory Lerner, will read the children’s book, Martin’s Big Words, provide activities and answer questions for parents and children to learn more about Dr. King and his principles.
- TIMELINE – Starting from March 28 when Dr. King marched for the sanitation workers in Memphis to April 4th when he spent his final hours at the Lorraine Motel, a timeline will illustrate the work he was doing for the everyday heroes.
- FROM THE VAULT – From the museum’s Collections archive, images of never-before-seen condolence letters sent to the Lorraine Motel following King’s death will be shared in the museum’s Collections blog, “From the Vault,” and social media channels.
Visitors to the museum’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn social channels @ncrmuseum will be able to share their stories and thoughts about Dr. King’s legacy and ideas for positive social change. Moderated comments can also be shared during the virtual broadcast on April 4. For more information, visit april4th.org.