NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tri-State Area residents and elected officials came together Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and several other lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, attended the annual King Day celebration at the National Action Network’s House of Justice in Harlem.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music hosted its 33rd annual tribute, featuring remarks from #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke. The mayor was there, along with First Lady Chirlane McCray and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
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Volunteers at the Jewish Community Center in Harlem broke into groups to study a speech Dr. King gave at Riverside Church in 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated. Ruth Messenger, former Manhattan borough president, attended that speech and marched on Washington in 1963.
“It was extraordinary, amazing assemblage of people. I brought my two really little children. It was really powerful,” she told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.
Other volunteers at Union Temple in Brooklyn put together packets for low-income New Yorkers as the younger generation learned about social justice.
“A long time ago, most people didn’t want black people in their country. So Dr. Luther King Jr. had to fix it when he grew up,” said 7-year-old Amaya Mahoney.
“He teach me to be kind and respectful,” 7-year-old Cooper King added.
On Long Island, hundreds gathered for a ceremony at Long Beach City Hall, followed by a walk along the route Dr. King traveled during his 1965 civil rights visit.
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials took part in a King Day celebration at New Hope Memorial Baptist Church in Elizabeth.