The Man. The Movement. The Moment.
April 4, 2023 • 4:30 pm Central
Museum Courtyard • 4:00 PM Musical Prelude
Register to join virtually
Register to attend in person
The museum is open during regular hours 9 am – 5 pm on April 4th.
The National Civil Rights Museum presents a hybrid commemoration in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy on the 55th anniversary of his death. Guests are welcome to join us in paying tribute to Dr. King in the museum courtyard or via live stream.
Each year, the Museum remembers the tragic event that occurred on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968 as we ask the perpetual question, "Where do we go from here?" This year’s event features a keynote speaker, special performances, fraternal tributes, and the changing of the balcony wreath with a moment of silence at 6:01 pm Central when Dr. King was slain. A musical prelude begins at 4:00 pm Central.
Dr. Otis Moss III is a third-generation warrior for civil and human rights who has built his ministry on community advancement and racial and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., since 2008, Dr. Moss routinely preaches and practices a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.
Dr. Moss’ latest book project, Dancing in the Darkness: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent Times, released in November 2022, has been lauded as a “life-affirming guide to the practical, political, and spiritual challenges of our day.” Utilizing the scholarship of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Howard Thurman, alongside biblical texts, a bevy of religious traditions, Black culture, and his own personal experiences, Dr. Moss offer up a methodology on performing spiritual resistance by uniting two pillars of his ministry: love and justice.
W. Crimm Singers AKA Wakanda Chorale is a professional ensemble-in-residence of Tennessee State University’s Big Blue Opera Initiatives wholly embraces the music of the Black experience throughout the diaspora and every genre connected to it with major emphasis on the Negro Spiritual, African American operatic, and concert repertoire, hymnody, and anthems.
Musical performances by Iris Orchestra’s Artist Fellows and Memphis Symphony Orchestra/University of Memphis Fellows, two prestigious programs dedicated to emerging musicians from African American and Latinx communities, which are historically underrepresented populations in classical music, will also render tribute to Dr. King.
As with tradition, audio recordings of the civil rights leader’s speeches will play in the courtyard throughout the day. The museum is open during regular hours 9 am – 5 pm on April 4th. The event culminates with the tolling of bells and a moment of silence at 6:01 pm, the time Dr. King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.