Home Local These Are Events in Birmingham to Honor MLK

These Are Events in Birmingham to Honor MLK


Numerous groups and organizations have planned events to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. City offices, with the exception of police, fire and 911, will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20 for the national King holiday.

Some of the events for the month include:

January 17 – 19

Steel Magic Theatre will present “Thurgood’’ at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre. For tickets visit www.djdteater.org. Student tickets are $7. Adult tickets are $12. Learn how this supreme court justice changed the American legal landscape and set the stage for civil rights pioneers Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, and Rosa Parks. The January 17 and 18 shows will be at 7 p.m. The January 19 show will be at 2:30 p.m.

January 17

The Inglenook branch presents “MLK Make and Take.” Drop by and make fun and interesting crafts while learning about the life of Dr. King. Materials will be provided.

January 17

  • The Ensley branch presents MLK Bingo at 3:30 p.m. Prizes available for the winners.
  • The Inglenook branch will show the MLK movie, which is based on the life of Dr. King. Refreshments will be provided.
  • The North Avondale branch will host an MLK DAY Vision Board Party at 3:30 p.m. Join them and discuss King’s visions and dreams. Milk and cupcakes will be served. Registration required.
  • The Powderly branch will present “I Have A Dream” Movie Fun. Enjoy Dr. King’s speeches and popcorn at 10 a.m.

Saturday, January 18

MLK Day 5K Drum Run will start and end in the Fourth Avenue Historic District of Birmingham’s Civil Rights District. Organizations and drum lines from Birmingham metro area schools will be lined up along the racecourse to help keep the beat as runners and walkers pass.

On-site registration will start at 7 a.m. (The 5K will start at 8 a.m.)

Location: 1701 4th Ave. N.

Cost: $30 after Jan. 1, 2020/$35 day of race

For more information visit: https://www.mlkday5kbham.com/ or email Herman Mannings at  info@leftoverenergy.com https://www.mlkday5kbham.com/.

  • The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC will host a gun buy back from 8 to 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Baptist Church, 500 Ninth Ave. N. For more information, please contact Jeanette Smith at (205)-587-0751 or jmwsmith13@gmail.com .
  • The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC will host “Youth Explosion – Past-Present-Future,” a conversation on human trafficking and mental health at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Baptist Church, 500 Ninth Ave. N.
  • The Birmingham Public Library, the Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will present “Brothers and Bow ties: A Vision Cast” from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th St. N. This citywide MLK event is for males between the ages of 11 to 18. This event is free. However, registration is required for the 50 available spaces. Participants will receive donated bow ties with a personalized message of hope attached to the bow ties. The keynote speaker is paralyzed former football player and Birmingham motivational speaker Timothy Alexander. Lunch will be provided. If you are interested in donating bow ties or for more information about the program, please call Candace Hardy at (205) 226-3625 or (205) 578-8563.

To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brothers-and-bow-ties-a-vision-cast-tickets-87143635961?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fb&utm-term=listing.

Sunday, January 19          

  • DeJuan “The Neighborhood Barber” Hall will provide free haircuts for the Birmingham homeless community in Kelly Ingram Park from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, please contact Hall at 205-460-6435. (He started this effort in 2017. He now does this every third Sunday of the month.)
  • Kimberley Mangun of the University of Utah will be the guest speaker for the Birmingham Public Library’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture series known as “Begin the Day.” Dr. Mangun, who will speak at 3 p.m. at the library’s Arrington Auditorium, has written a book about Emory O. Jackson and what he did for civil rights and the African-American community when he worked as the newspaper editor of “The Birmingham World.’’ Dr. Mangun will explore the life and career of Jackson. Copies of Dr. Mangun’s book will be available for purchase.

Dr. Mangun researched her book using the civil rights collection in the Birmingham Public Library’s Archives Department. For more information, contact Birmingham Public Library archivist Jim Baggett at Jim.Baggett@cobpl.org or call 205-226-3631. This event, which is free and open to the public, is being presented by BPL and the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists. For additional details visit: https://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2019/12/begin-day-seventeenth-annual-martin.html

  • The Birmingham Metro Chapter of the SCLC will host a musical celebration in honor of King at 4 p.m. at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 2315 26th N.

Monday, January 20

  • The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast will be held in the BJCC North Exhibition Hall, 2150 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd. N. Doors will open at 6:30 a.m. The MLK Choir will perform from 7 to 7:30 a.m. The breakfast will start at 7:30 a.m. It is scheduled to end at 9:30 a.m. This is Birmingham’s biggest forum to celebrate King and his legacy of racial reconciliation. The breakfast also serves as a support event for the annual MLK Scholarship Essay program, providing direct scholarships to high school students throughout the Birmingham region. For more information contact Aaron Carlton at 205-585-6463 or acarlton@gmail.com.

Individual tickets are $50 and are available at the BJCC ticket office. Tables of 8 are $400. To buy tables of 8 tickets, please contact Carlton.

  • Line up for the SCLC’s traditional MLK March from City Hall to Kelly Ingram Park will be at 11 a.m. The march will start at 11:30 a.m. Once marchers reach Kelly Ingram Park, they will enter Sixteenth Street Baptist Church for a rally. Contact Bishop Calvin W. Woods Sr. for more information at 205-937-5679
  • The SCLC will host a civil rights rally at 12 p.m. at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1530 Sixth Avenue N. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Michael Wesley of Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
  • The SCLC’s annual MLK “Love Feast: Feed The Homeless and Senior Citizens” will be held at 2 p.m. at Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Contact Bishop Calvin Woods at (205)-937-5679 or bishopcalvinwoods@gmail.com or the Rev. Timothy Woods at 205-324-8202. This is a free event.
  • More than 2,000 high school student-athletes will compete in the MLK Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex, 2337 Bessemer Road. The event will start at 8 a.m. Athletes will all march around the track at 10 a.m. Admission will be charged. For more information, visit http://www.birminghamcrossplex.com/event/mlk-invitational/
  • The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will host “MLK Day 2020: King’s Dream in 20/20 Vision’’ from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. with live performances, music, games and giveaways. There will be free admission and extended hours. The institute is located at 520 16th St. N. For more information, please contact: Joi Brown at jbrown@bcri.org or visit https://www.bcri.org/mlk-day/
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will host a wreath-laying ceremony in Kelly Ingram Park at 11 a.m. in honor of their fellow fraternity brother, Dr. King.
  • For the past 19 years, residents of Birmingham and surrounding areas have donated volunteer hours to give back to the community on MLK Jr. Day of Service, which will start at 1 p.m. Want to help in 2020? Register today for Hands on Birmingham’s  “MLK Jr. Day of Service” at  https://uwca.givepulse.com/group/242295-MLK-Day-of-Service For more information, contact: Tawanna Willoughby at twilloughby@handsonbirmingham.org.
  • The “UAB MLK Day of Service” will be held at UAB’s rec center, 1501 University Blvd. For more information, please contact Andrea Bennett, UAB Coordinator for Leadership & Service, at 205-934-8023 or arbennett@uab.edu . Registration for this event will be done at the rec center. Time: TBA.
  • The “MLK Day 2020: Vistas Serving the City of Birmingham.” For more information, please contact Alicia Lumpkin at Alicia.lumpkin@birminghamal.gov 205-254-8025. Time: TBA.

Tuesday, January 21    

A discussion entitled, “History as Education, Entertainment, or Propaganda: Should how we tell the story matter?” will be held at 6 p.m. at the UAB Hill Student Center Alumni Theater. The event is free. For more information, contact Brandon Wolfe at bwolfe@uab.edu.

In recent years, there have been several ongoing debates, commentary and criticism around a number of retold historical events. An example includes the word “slaves” being replaced in textbooks with words such as “workers,” “immigrants” or “indentured servants” as a way to describe slavery in America. Another example is Hollywood blockbuster films taking creative liberties to add fictional characters and plot lines to make movies more inspirational and palatable for the audience. This event will examine such examples, look at what impact these changes have on today’s culture and answer the overarching question: “Should how we tell the story matter?”

Wednesday, January 22 

The Second Annual UAB School of Medicine MLK Celebration will be held at 12 p.m. at Volker Hall, Lecture Room A, first floor. The address is 1670 University Blvd. Event is free. Lunch will be provided for the first 100 people. The Miles College choral group will perform several selections. Two students will present reflections on King. Speakers are also schedule. For more info contact Erica Brown at ebrown@uab.edu.

Join downtown Birmingham Public Library’s archivist Jim Baggett as he leads a show-and-tell journey that looks at King’s early life, celebrating King’s vision of unity and love. Baggett’s “Live the Dream’’ presentation will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Avondale Library.

A free screening of “Just Mercy’’ will be shown for UAB students at 7 p.m. at the Edge Movie Theater, 7001 Crestwood Blvd. Students must show their UAB ID to attend.

Saturday, January 25

The MLK Word from the Mountain Top Oratory Contest Competition winners will appear at 3 p.m. at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th St. N.

Each year, local high school and college students are invited to participate in the “Word from the Mountaintop” Oratory Contest to honor King’s legacy. The purpose of the oratory competition is to recognize and give high school and college students the opportunity to reflect on King’s words while connecting his message to issues facing the nation in the 21st century. For more information visit https://www.uab.edu/dei/cace/community-engagement/word-from-the-mountain-top

Through January 31 

The Smithfield Library will present its annual film festival honoring King. All showings are free. The movies will include:

“Our Friend Martin”- Jan. 17 at 4 p.m.

“Boycott”- Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.

“Get on The Bus”- Jan. 31 at 4 p.m.