Martin Luther King Day 2019: what to do in New York on this holiday

The history of MLKD

The bill for a public holiday

First of all, know that the idea of ​​Martin Luther King Day was evoked after his death in 1968 and by Democrat John Convers. The latter mentioned the idea in a bill, which was adopted a few years later, after having been the subject of much discussion. It was a question of paying homage to Martin Luther King and especially to his actions and achievements for human rights.

For indeed, Martin Luther King was greatly active, as you know, in the struggle for human rights and Nonviolence.

And while the idea of ​​this bill was at the center of several political discussions, no real decision was taken for a little while. In 1980, famous singer Stevie Wonder released a single called Happy Birthday, to show his support for Bill and the campaign around him. A petition was launched during the rally for peace in 1981, and it obtained more 6 million signatures supporting this project.

And even though Ronald Reagan, then president, is against this holiday plan, he had no choice but to accept it. Indeed, the project was supported by the majority of Congress, and the president was unable to veto.

This is how in 1983, the bill was finally signed, giving birth to the holiday honoring Martin Luther King.

The different names of MLKD

The latter has since been celebrated in all states, which sometimes give it different names. Thus, the MLKD is called the "Human Rights Day" in Utah, the "Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Day" in Arizona as well as in New Hampshire, or even the "Lee-Jackson-King Day" in Virginia.

Having said that, if you bring up Martin Luther King Day, everyone in America will know what you are talking about!

Martin Luther King Day, a day of mutual aid

In recent years, Martin Luther King Day has tended to increasingly become what Americans call "service day". It is simply a day when citizens are invited to help each other through small actions. This was notably encouraged by Bill Clinton in 1994.

In schools, teachers usually take this day to teach their students about the role and importance played by Dr. King. The subjects of racism and peace are of course at the center of the discussions.

MLKD and basketball

Apart from being a famous public holiday in the United States, Martin Luther King Day is also well known for its connection to basketball. Indeed, each year, the NBA pays tribute to Martin Luther King during the MLKD by organizing numerous important matches.

But why, you will ask me? Well quite simply because, as you know, Martin Luther King has made a significant contribution to the human rights movement in general, but also to equality between the different "races", by defending in particular the African-American minorities. . However, more than 3/4 of basketball players in the NBA are African-American. So of course it seems only natural to celebrate this holiday the right way, doesn't it?

Thus each year, the NBA organizes a dozen games featuring the biggest teams in the country. The Lakers, Knicks, Bulls and many others face each other on this memorable day.

And then, at the same time, the NBA each year shares a video paying tribute to the birthday of Martin Luther King, who is the 15 January. The latter traces the history of this peaceful leader and includes his famous speech "I have a dream"

The NBA program for MLK day 2017

So if you are a basketball fan, or just interested in this event (which I recommend), here is the Programs for MLK day 2019:

  • New York - Atlanta, at 19 p.m.
  • Washington - Portland, at 20:00 p.m.
  • Milwaukee - Philadelphia, at 21:30 p.m. 
  • Indiana - New Orleans, at 22:00 p.m.
  • Denver - Orlando, at 23pm
  • Boston - Charlotte, at 01:30 a.m.
  • Golden State – Cleveland, à 02h00
  • Phoenix – Utah, à 03h00
  • LA Clippers - Oklahoma City, at 04:30 a.m.

Come on, take the opportunity to treat yourself and buy your ticket to see the New York Knicks! This is definitely something to do on your trip to NYC and the vibe on Martin Luther King Day is absolutely fantastic!

What to do for Martin Luther King Day 2019 in New York?

And since the blog is dedicated to New York, here is a small list of ideas of things to do for the Martin Luther King Day 2019 à New York. Whether you are with family, solo, as a couple or with friends, you will find something interesting and cultural to do! I promise !

Indeed, the city of New York organizes every year a multitude of events to trace or celebrate the famous Dr. King. Concerts, cultural exhibitions, readings, parade, the list is long ! So get ready to make this day memorable by attending at least one event.

Volunteering for a good cause

First of all, of course, you can volunteer for a good cause. This is probably the most appropriate thing to do on this symbolic day.

Also, I invite you to visit the Volunteer New York site, which offers to participate in various actions. While you want to support the animal cause, children's education, people in need or the like, you are bound to find something to do.

Besides, if each person acted a little bit like that, that would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

Go see the MLKD parade

Then, know that like every year, on the third Monday in January, a parade takes place in New York to celebrate Martin Luther King Day as it should. The latter takes place on the Cinquième Avenue from 13 p.m. Also, I strongly recommend that you go there, because it is a moment as historic as it is pleasant. You will see majorettes, police officers, musicians, children, and many other participants.

The atmosphere is festive and warm, and it's free, so you might as well enjoy it, right? And then, what better than to celebrate an emblem of peace?

Visit the Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem opened in 1968, and was thus the first museum African American art. It is therefore as much symbolic as it is interesting to go for a walk there to immerse yourself in this fascinating culture.

Meet at 144 West 125th Street in Harlem, Thursday through Sunday between noon and 18 p.m., and until 21 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Go to a Gospel Mass in Harlem

Of course, who says African-American culture says Gospel. And if I have already advised you more than once to go see one, I insist even more on this day of Martin Luther King Day. It is a cultural, moving, and quite simply very enjoyable moment.

Also, regarding this occasion, I recommend the Harlem Gospel Choir, formed in 1986 and well known for their extravagant performances.

Discover the Harlem district

Of course, what could be more typical than going to the Harlem district on such a symbolic day, right? Also, there are guided tours or walks organized during this day. These will allow you to learn a little more about the history of the neighborhood, the African-American community as well as the life of Martin Luther King.

Take a guided tour of Harlem

During the MLKD, guided tours are organized in the Harlem Borough. You will learn more about the struggle for human rights during a walk of about 2 hours. You will also pass through the Schomburg Center for Research on African American Culture, as well as the Harlem Hospital Center. It was in the latter that Dr. King was taken and treated after being stabbed.

Other guided tours will pass through the famous Abyssinian Baptist Church and the Apollo Theater. Find out in advance, and allow around $ 15 per adult, and $ XNUMX for students.

Finally, I recommend that you, at the end of the guided tour, take a walk around the Harlem district on your own. Indeed, the latter is full of surprises and typical places. A must-do in New York, without a doubt!

Take part in an organized walk in the Harlem neighborhood

In addition, students from the Manhattan Country School organize a walk in the neighborhood every year. Each year, the march is done on a specific theme, of course linked to Martin Luther King. Participants sing songs about human rights, and read personal speeches.

If you're interested, meet at 150 West 85th Street at 10 a.m. You will then pass through Central Park, Frederick Douglass Circle, Ali Forney Center, and the Islamic Cultural Center. It is free, enjoy it!

Take your kids to the Brooklyn Children's Museum

Traveling to New York City with kids and wondering what to do on Martin Luther King Day? Well know that the Brooklyn Children's Museum runs activities throughout the three-day MLKD weekend. Entrance costs around ten dollars. Your children will be able to participate in artistic workshops or see shows. The theme of course revolves around Dr. King and peace.

Participate in a cleanup of Idlewild Park Wetland in Queens

During Martin Luther King Day, a "clean up" is organized in Idlewild Park. The latter is located in the borough of Queens. You can register in advance by writing to Provide adequate clothing, namely warm clothes and who are not too afraid, and join the other volunteers. Friendly atmosphere guaranteed, not to mention the good deed you will do!

Here you are well informed on this very special day for the country, and in particular for the African-American community. So do not hesitate to participate in a whole lot of activities with family or friends. Moments 100% local and cultural guaranteed!

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