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City to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with music, readings

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  January 18, 2013 03:00 PM

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Boston’s 11th annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday will be one of celebration and service as organizations from across the city gather to commemorate King’s life and work.

The Museum of African American History, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events are hosting an afternoon of music and spoken word tributes.

The day’s events, which are free and begin at 1 p.m. in Faneuil Hall, will feature BYSO Intensive Community Program performing classical music, spirituals, and freedom songs and a reading of King’s Emancipation Proclamation Centennial Address delivered September 1962 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the preliminary proclamation.

King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered 50 years ago on August 28, 1963, will also be recognized.

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and of the formation of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment.

Ernest G. Green, one of nine black students who were the first to integrate a public school following the 1954 US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, will deliver the keynote address

Marvin Gilmore, the first African American in New England to be awarded the Legion of Honor from France; Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, a medical and human rights missionary; and Regie Gibson, Poet, songwriter, actor, author, educator, and National Poetry Slam Champion will all speak at the event.

Before the event, the doors to Faneuil Hall will open at 11 a.m. Monday for a public viewing of the Presidential Inauguration.

Admission to the Museum of African American History will also be free January 12 in recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The museum is currently showing the exhibit, "MLK and Signs of Freedom," which celebrates heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement and displays “rare photographs by Ernest Withers of poignant scenes documenting organized action and powerful broadsides from the abolitionist movement commemorate campaigns for human liberty.”

For more events in and around the Boston honoring King, click here.

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E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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