Where to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in Hyde Park


Staff writer

It has been 52 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39. The civil rights activist’s death has been mourned ever since. His 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech holds a place among the greatest speeches of all time.

On Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 20, citizens across the country will take the time to remember King’s legacy. In Kenwood-Hyde Park, numerous organizations throughout the neighborhood will host events to mark King’s accomplishments.

DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 East 56th Pl., will host “King Day 2020: Focused on Freedom” from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to participate in lectures, performances, films, arts and crafts and much more. The event is free with general admission.

At 3 p.m., there will be screening of 1978 “Martin Luther King: An Amazing Grace”, the first African American produced documentary on King. A discussion with Christopher Reed, Roosevelt University emeritus professor, and Julius Jones, assistant curator at the Chicago History Museum, will follow the screening.

Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., will host MLK Day “Freedom Family Celebration,” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, visitors will be able to take a family photo in a photo booth with photographer Tony Smith, learn about the history of Black portraits and images with resident artist Zakkiyyah Najeebah, create vision boards, buttons and prints with teaching artists. There will be a showing of “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary about James Baldwin. There will be performances and family stories with The Silver Room’s storytelling series, Grown Folks Stories. The event is free and open to the public.

Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., will host Black Creativity Family Day to kick off the Black Creativity Month. Families can participate in a special Hero Lab experience during the opening of the Innovation Studio, explore the Juried Art Exhibition and see the new exhibit Black Creativity: 50 Years. Program is included in museum entry fee.

At the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th St., in Room 300 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Hyde Park-South Side Moms Demand Action, an organization that focuses on preventing gun violence, will partner with the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace for a panel discussion about local, international and youth actions to carry forward Dr. King’s non-violence message and a community discussion.

KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Food Justice and Sustainability Committee will host the 11th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend called “Climate Change and A Chicago Public Food Forest” starting on Jan 18 starting at 4 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. The weekend will include workshops by leading growers, environmentalists, scientists and social justice activists. The weekend event is free of charge and open to the public. For a full schedule and to register, look online: https://www.kamii.org/MLK