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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute To Offer Free Admission on MLK Day

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will mark its 25th year. (Frank Couch Photography)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a special day at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Free admission is offered to the public with extended hours from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

BCRI observes MLK Day with a day of programming including live performances, music, games, and giveaways. Tour the permanent exhibitions as they come to life with poetry and spoken word performances throughout the day or test your Civil Rights history knowledge for your chance to win a prize in our BCRI Jeopardy game!

There is no shortage of activities for all ages. Come join us and celebrate the life & legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Volunteer at BCRI for MLK Day!

Volunteers are always needed for volunteer gallery monitors for MLK Day.

Interested parties must:

* Be at least 18 years of age

* Be professional and mature

* Be able to represent the Institute well

* Successfully undergo training session

The training session must be successfully completed before volunteering on MLK Day. Please RSVP by contacting Marshay Webb at 205-703-0234 or mwebb@bcri.org.

Black History Month

Each year beginning on February 1, an entire month of events are planned nationwide honoring the history and contributions of African Americans.

Black History Month began in 1926 as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson who launched Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February —between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, every American president has proclaimed February as Black History Month. Today, other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also devote an entire month to celebrating black history.

The BCRI has been rich in a number of events and activities surrounding Black History. Last year’s theme Black Migrations emphasized the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focused especially on the twentieth century through today. Beginning in the early decades of the twentieth century, African American migration patterns included relocation from southern farms to southern cities; from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West; from the Caribbean to US cities as well as to migrant labor farms; and the emigration of noted African Americans to Africa and to European cities, such as Paris and London, after the end of World War I and World War II.

The theme equally focused on the exploration of the century’s later decades from spatial and social perspectives, with attention to “new” African Americans because of the burgeoning African and Caribbean population in the U.S.; Northern African Americans’ return to the South; racial suburbanization; inner-city hyperghettoization; health and environment; civil rights and protest activism; electoral politics; mass incarceration; and dynamic cultural production.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.  Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, BCRI reaches more than 150,000 individuals each year though award-winning programs and services.

Click here to read about more MLK Day events in Birmingham.