MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Monday the National Civil Rights Museum had to get creative in their events celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s life and legacy on MLK Day.
Normally the area outside the National Civil Rights Museum would be packed with a full day of events honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.
During the pandemic, the museum instead held its first ever virtual celebration.
With gathering together to celebrate what would be Dr. King’s 92nd birthday out of the question, the National Civil Rights Museum promised their virtual celebration would make viewers feel like they were on this hallowed ground.
“Thank you for joining us today!” Terri Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum said during the event.
The one hour, pre-recorded program included a mix of inspirational songs and, of course, Happy Birthday!
Important and informative questions about Dr. King’s life were answered by Ohio State University Professor of African American and African Studies Dr. Hassan Jeffries.
“Dr. King was not born an activist. He was a reluctant activist in fact,” Dr. Hassan Jeffries said. “His first real foray into activism occurred in 1955 when he’s tapped to serve as the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association.”
The National Civil Rights Museum used the virtual event to highlight the behind the scenes volunteers who help make MLK Day so impactful every year.
Throughout the event, volunteers shared why they gave their time for the museum’s cause.
“I volunteer for King Day because it is a way for me to give forward,” Beverly Alexander said. “To pay it forward, to pass it on and to give myself to the community.”
The program also used King’s own words in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, hoping to make an impact virtually in a difficult situation.
“If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail,” Dr. King said in the recording.
If you missed the afternoon showing of the National Civil Rights Museum’s event, you can catch an evening viewing at 6 o’clock.
Go to Kingday.org to see the event at 6pm CST.