The Man. The Movement. The Moment.
SUNday, April 4, 2021 • 5:00pm Central
The National Civil Rights Museum will present a virtual commemoration in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy on the 53rd anniversary of his death. The museum is closed on the Easter Sunday holiday on April 4. Guests are welcome to pay tribute to Dr. King in the museum courtyard.
Each year the Museum commemorates the tragic event that occurred on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968. This year’s event will feature A Conversation with Rev. James Lawson, a key King ally and stalwart of nonviolent philosophy who trained a number of activists on civil disobedience. NBC correspondent, Tracie Potts, will moderate the conversation. The ecumenical tribute includes invocation by Bishop David P. Talley of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Bernard L. Richardson, the Dean of the historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel and the executive officer for religious affairs at Howard University. His remarks will explore King's life and his legacy of altruism. Under his leadership, the Chapel impacts students through initiatives including Alternative Spring Break (ASB), HU Day of Service, the Interfaith Advisory Board, Justice for Juveniles Prison Ministry and the University’s first Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. He has set an example in affirming religious diversity and freedom both on campus and throughout the community.
The museum’s tour guides will perform the poem “Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Gwendolyn Books. Musical performances by vocalists Karen Brown and Chris Barnes, directed by Garry Goin, are slated during the commemoration and concludes with "Precious Lord," Dr. King's favorite gospel hymn, rendered by the vocal ensemble Adajyo. The broadcast will culminate with the tolling of bells and a moment of silence at 6:01pm, the time Dr. King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.
Following the commemoration is the premiere of "Caged," a commissioned Chamber Orchestra piece by African American composer Brian Nabors, and performed 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 communitues, which are historically underrepresented populations in classical music. The piece was written for the fellows to further the commitment to uplift the community during the pandemic. Nabors commented, “What a gift it is to have something so powerful as music continue to lift our spirits and eventually pull us through to the other side.”
The performing artists include Katie Brown, Amaro Dubois, Allison Lovera, Estefan Perez and Carrington Truehart.
LIVESTREAM - A SPECIAL SMALL BUT MIGHTY STORYTIME
2:00pM Central • WITH MUSEUM EDUCATOR, DORY LERNER
For this special "Small but Mighth Storytime" session, Museum Educator Dory Lerner will read the children’s book, Martin’s Big Words, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier. This story tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. starting with his childhood and tracing his lifetime, his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, and his legacy as a changemaker. The Museum will present artifacts from its teaching collection and encourage families to create a book or art work that will inspire people to help build our beloved community.