On Monday, January 16, 2012, the U.S. honors the birthday of slain civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was slain at 39 years old by a gunman on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. Here are MLK Jr. Day events in and around the Metro Detroit area. All events take place on January 16 unless otherwise noted.
Farmington Community Library – Main branch
A full day of activities follows a peace march at 9:30 a.m. from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (28000 New Market Road, Farmington Hills) to the library’s main branch at 32727 W. 12 Mile Road. The walk is only one-third mile long, so that is doable for most everyone. There will be story-telling, musical presentations, crafts, poetry, art exhibits, and a traveling black history presentation from Wayne State University. Local historians will talk about civil rights labor issues at Detroit Wonder Bread. There will also be a give-back blood donation clinic and a Valentine’s Day card-making craft for seniors. MLK Day events last from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill
50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., a $2 donation gets a full evening of speakers and entertainment, including the Michigan State University traveling exhibit “Lest We Forget: Legends of Detroit Gospel.” Music is by the New Hope Church Choir, and Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard is the keynote speaker.
2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester
Rapper and activist Common will be presenting the Keeper of the Dream Award scholarships at 11 a.m. at the OU Center. This scholarship honors students who have kept Dr. King’s dream alive through their academic endeavors.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
$30 gets admission to the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast. The event goes from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Keynote speaker is Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill of Plymouth United Church of Christ. Music is provided by Armond and the Institute of Music and Dance at Marywood College.
Athens High School
4333 John R., Troy
Join students for a Celebration of Freedom, including free continental breakfast, music, art exhibit, speakers, student essay contest entries, and a peace walk around the school. Events last from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
University of Michigan
Detroit Center – 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
At 10 a.m., Michele Norris of NPR’s “All Things Considered” presents a keynote address. From 1-3 p.m., a panel discussion explores the status of civil rights in Detroit’s “hood.” Free lunch and parking is available for anyone who attends one or both events.