Saturday, July 2, 2022

BAM to Host 36th Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, Jan. 17

Dr. Imani Perry_photo credit Sameer Khan
Dr. Imani Perry | photo credit Sameer Khan

*Continuing a tradition in its 36th year that has evolved into the largest such gathering in New York City, BAM hosts the annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 17 at 10:30am in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue) with activists, musicians, civic leaders, and the public for a communal commemoration and reflection of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. King. Additional free events for community members of all ages are also scheduled on the BAM campus over the weekend.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the community back as we uplift one another and unite in celebration of Dr. King’s enduring legacy and its relevance today. Brooklyn’s beloved tradition was established a year after Dr. King’s birthday was recognized as a national holiday, and 36 years later, his convictions remain an indelible force for equality, dignity, and justice,” said BAM Co-Interim President Coco Killingsworth. “This year we are expanding our celebration to include more programs and events at a moment when we so deeply need to channel Dr. King’s legacy, leadership, and lessons.”

The 2022 keynote speech titled “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community” will be delivered by critically-acclaimed author and cultural historian Dr. Imani Perry as she encourages us to continue in Dr. King’s radical spirit. Perry’s work reflects the deeply complex history of Black thought, art, and imagination. As an educator —both at the university level and in the larger public sphere—her work emphasizes the interplay between history, race, law, and culture and highlights the importance of applying the lessons of modern history to our present struggle, whether to challenge or to celebrate.

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MLK Day (Getty)
MLK Day (Getty)

Rounding out the timely keynote address will be inspirational performances by Afrofuturist funk-rock icon Nona Hendryx with composer-trombonist Craig Harris & Tailgaters Tales and soul-stirring performances by Vy Higgensen’s award-winning Sing Harlem choir. The annual tribute will also include a recorded performance of King, a powerful solo piece by acclaimed dancer and choreographer Kyle Marshall to the oratory of Dr. King’s final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”

This year, BAM expands its beloved annual tribute with a wide variety of free events for community members of all ages and interests. Following the keynote in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas will present a free screening of Attica by Emmy-winning documentarian Stanley Nelson and co-director Traci Curry, spotlighting the 1971 prison uprising and the urgent need for change. In the Harvey Theater at BAM Strong, Brooklyn-based choreographer Reggie Wilson offers a community performance of POWER, a propulsive new dance piece as part of its New York City premiere run. And a digital billboard-based group exhibition—“Salvation: A State of Being”by seven Black visual artists draws inspiration from the late trailblazing Black feminist, social critic, and author bell hooks. Additional artists, music, and BAMkids programs will be announced later. 

The Opera House tribute, film screening, and community presentation of POWER are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. All visitors and staff must present proof of vaccination and ID to attend and masks must be worn at all times. For further information, please call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 or visit BAM.org.

Source: Cynthia Tate| ctate@bam.org

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