Big-name guests expected for MLK50 commemoration

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's been a busy year-and-a-half for officials organizing the MLK50 events.

As tens of thousands of people from all over the world prepare to head to the Bluff City to remember the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., organizers said they're expecting a large yet diverse crowd.

"We've been very thoughtful about who needed to be here," Faith Morris with National Civil Rights Museum said.

Morris said the MLK50 organizers wanted to make sure the events were a powerful reflection of the past, present, and future.

"The Civil Rights Movement was more than one man, it was more than a group of a few people, it was thousands of people that got it done, so that's really what this commemoration is going to represent," Morris said.

At the commemoration, guests will hear from Civil Rights icons like Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Freedom Rider Bernard Lafayette

"These are all the stories that we don't hear enough of, we need to have a better understanding of what it was like and how it compares to what we're living through now," Morris said.

Guests can also expect to hear from several activists of today's generation, including Brie Newsome, who attempted to move the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, and Memphis Grizzlies NBA star Mike Conley.

"Every January, we work with the Grizzlies for King Day, and he's been very involved as a part of the team and a part of the NBA on what Dr. King's legacy has done in his life," Morris said. "It is a time to reflect, it's a time to think about what was going on in 1968 and before then and what's going on in 2018."

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.