On the third Monday of January each year, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day to commemorate his peaceful activism in the civil rights movement. His message is ingrained in the spirit of America. Beyond the U.S., his message resonates throughout the world. In fact, the Japanese city of Hiroshima as well as our Northern neighbors in Toronto celebrate King’s message of human rights. While the world observes the holiday, here are some ways to in your own community:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade
The parade takes place along NW 54th Street on a route from NW 12th Avenue to NW 32nd Avenue. It ends with a celebration at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.
On the third Monday of January every year, Miami joins in this federal holiday with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade in Liberty City. Parade goers can expect high school marching bands, athletes, and cheerleaders on foot, floats, cars, and fire trucks bearing local politicians, union leaders, and activists—and, for a Caribbean Miami twist, Carnival dancers taking it to the streets in a colorful dance and music performance. Once the parade reaches the park, revelers can enjoy food, activities for kids, and a variety of vendors and entertainment.
City of Miami Gardens Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration
Betty Ferguson Center, 300 NW 199th St, Miami Gardens
Saturday, January 17, 2PM – 6PM – Betty Ferguson Center, 300 NW 199th St, Miami Gardens
Mayor Oliver Gilbert of Miami Gardens and Rick Party of Hot 105 host a day of honor, education, and fun for the City of Miami Gardens to include community resource information, live entertainment, bounce houses for the kids, food trucks, and more. Free admission. For more information about the celebration, call (305) 622-8000 or visit www.miamigardens-fl.gov.
Hallandale Beach MLK Parade & Festival
O.B. Johnson Park, 900 NW 8th Ave, Hallandale Beach
Monday, January 19, 9:30AM; Festival at 12PM – 5PM
The City of Hallandale Beach celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its annual parade that begins at the 900 block of NW 2nd Aven, proceeding south to West Hallandale Beach Blvd, then west to NW 8th Ave (Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd), then ending north at O.B. Johnson Park with the festival. Alvertis “Al” Bell, music executive, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be the featured speaker. The Festival will features live performances by Kevin Cameron, Kelsey Nykole (from VH1’s Couples Therapy), gospel recording artists the Abraham Brothers, and Two-4, Mix Master Lee, Zipporiah, TP9, Terrance Rolle and The Motowners.
FIU Presents: Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance
FIU Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St, Miami
Wednesday, January 21, 6:30PM – 8PM
The FIU Honors College presents a chamber music theatrical work conceived and performed by the Core Ensemble trio and an actor. The piece celebrates the lives of the great African American poets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay as seen through the eyes of the great muralist and painter Aaron Douglas. The musical score includes works by jazz giants Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk, and Charlie Mingus as well as concert music by Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker. For info: (305) 348-4100. Free and open to the public.
Movie theaters throughout Miami
This much-buzzed about Oscar-nominated drama focuses on the fight for suffrage in 1965 in Alabama. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Food Distribution
Charles Hadley Park, 1350 NW 50th St, Miami
Saturday, January 17, 10AM – 1PM
State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, State Senator Dwight Bullard, and School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall partner with Farm Share for a food distribution event. Food supplies will be distributed on a first come, first served basis and volunteers are needed. Call (305) 953-3086 for info.
MLK Day of Service
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park, 6000 NW 32nd Ct, Miami
Saturday, January 17, 8:30PM – 2PM
FIU hosts a day of service with students, faculty, staff, and community members participating in beautification projects at two parks – MLK Memorial Park and Gwen Cherry Park (7090 NW 22nd Ave). Projects include painting, clean up of debris, and restoration of a baseball diamond and park pavilions. Register free at leadserve.fiu.edu
YMCA Day of Service Beautification Project
YMCA Martin Luther King, Jr Preschool, 2000 NW 62nd St, Miami
Monday, January 19, 9AM – 1PM
YMCA is participating in a day of service with a beatification project to upgrade and improve indoor and outdoor areas for preschool students. To volunteer, contactL Vanessa Fernandez, [email protected] or (954) 334-9622.
ServiceWorks Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day
Easter Seals-Jackson Dade, 801 NW 17th St, Miami
Monday, January 19, 8AM – 2PM
Volunteers will participate in beautification projects consisting of painting and other minor construction projects at Easter Seals-Jackson Dade Head Start for children. To sign up, email ServiceWorks Miami at [email protected]