Martin Luther King Jr. Day is being celebrated across the nation on Jan. 18 this year. There are many ways to observe and honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day, especially in New York City. Joining in on a walking tour or commemorative march, attending a civil rights discussion or a gospel choir performance are among our picks for the five best ways to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day in NYC.Related: 5 Historical Facts You Didn’t Know About New York City
Big Onion Historic Harlem Walking Tour
476 13th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Hop on the No. 2 or 3 and head up to 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem for the Big Onion’s Historic Harlem Walking Tour, where you can soak in the history of Harlem from the 1600s to present day. Check out historic sites such as The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Apollo Theatre and the Harlem Hospital Center where Martin Luther King Jr. was treated in 1958. Tours last around two hours and cost $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors/BHS members. Visit the “Schedule” section online for tour dates and times.
MLK, Jr. Weekend Special Storytime: Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th St)
New York, NY 10024
Bring the family to the New-York Historical Society Monday, Jan. 18 for story time at 2 p.m. Author Calvin Alexander Ramsey will read from his children’s book “Ruth and the Green Book.” The story is about how a young girl named Ruth uses the book “Negro Motorist’s Green Book” (published in 1935) to help her family travel the Jim Crow South. “Negro Motorist’s Green Book” was published to assist African-Americans in Southern towns, and included information such as which businesses, restaurants and hotels would serve them. Following the reading, author Calvin Alexander Ramsey will answer audience questions and sign books. Calvin Alexander Ramsey prides himself in work that focuses on African-American history, and is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award.
Apollo Uptown Hall Race & Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas
253 W 125th St
New York, NY 10027
On Sunday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m., WHNYC & The Apollo Theater, in collaboration with March On Washington Film Festival, will present “Apollo Uptown Hall Race & Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas.” The event will feature a panel discussion led by Brian Lehrer and Jami Floyd. The discussion will focus on race, privilege and the inequality in America. Special guests will include Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Emeline Michel, and special performances by Daniel Bernard Roumain. The event is free to the public, but you must RSVP online at www.wnyc.org/events or www.apollotheater.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Matinee
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
237 W 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir will be performing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on 42nd Street. The choir is one of the most well-known and respected gospel choirs, not only the U.S. but worldwide. Come and honor Martin Luther King Jr. with the gift of music at the Harlem Gospel Choir’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Matinee, Sunday, Jan. 18, at 12:30 p.m. A full brunch is available during the matinee, and note that there is a $10 food minimum per person that is not included in the ticket price.
Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative March
150 W 85th St.
New York, NY 10024
Join the Manhattan Country School (MCS) eighth graders on Monday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. for a peaceful march through Harlem. Families, friends, supporters, alumni and the general public are all invited. This year’s theme is “The Unarmed Truth.” The school’s eighth-graders are busily planning every detail of the march, from the route to the written speeches. The march will begin at 150 W 85th St., at MCS’ future location, and end at 7 E 96th St., the school’s current location. View the full march route online on the Manhattan Country School’s online.
Related: 5 Best Historical Sites In New York
Lanya Trypupenko is a freelance writer living in NYC and covering all things New York. She is a self-proclaimed shopaholic who is always on the lookout for the latest trends and deals. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.