In January, we celebrate two very special events: the start of the new year and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. King, who was the most famous and influential civil rights leader of our time, would have turned 91 years old on January 15. During the week of his birthday, Baltimore offers several different events – both fun and educational. Here are some highlights:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
Monday, January 20 from noon-2 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard between Eutaw Street and Baltimore Street
This year marks the 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade presented by The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and the City of Baltimore. The parade commemorates the life of civil rights leader and icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 2020 Grand Marshall for the parade is R&B/Soul singer-songwriter Raheem DeVaughn. More than 70 groups participate in the parade including high school and community bands, honor/color guards, equestrian units, fraternities and sororities, dance squads and civic organizations. For more information, go to https://www.promotionandarts.org/events-festivals/20th-annual-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-parade.
MLK Day Celebration at The Lewis
Monday, January 20 from 11:00 a.m.-4 p.m.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King at the Lewis Museum. Stop by A Ride To Remember Story Hour and Mural Art Project to explore the story of the desegregation of a local amusement park and carousel with authors Sharon Langley, the first African American child to integrate the park and Amy Nathan. Participate in telling your own personal memories fighting social injustices at A Ride to Remember Oral History Video booth. Join Dr. Traci Parker, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as she discusses Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement. Other highlights include an Urban Theatrical Presentation and Talkback session of the Voices of Carmen, examining escalating conflicts among young people; the Baltimore City College Choir; and the Annual High School Juried Art Exhibition. Special $5 admission. For tickets or more information, go to
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2020: “A Celebration of Freedom”
Sunday, January 19 at 2 p.m.
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Tenor Charles Sullivan, former soloist with the Morgan State University Choir, presents a very special program celebrating Dr. King’s lifetime of devotion to equality, social justice, economic advancement, and opportunity for all, with excerpts from two of his most famous speeches, and songs emblematic of an unprecedented era of change in America. Free. For more information, go to bit.ly/PrattMLK2020.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Lecture: D.O.P.E. (Dedication, Opportunity, Positivity, and Excellence) Dad 101
Sunday, January 19 from 3:30-5 p.m.
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library
The panel will display Black Fathers/Father Figures in a light that they have rarely been shown in before, specifically in children’s books. The discussion will highlight the abilities of Black Fathers and the super powers they possess: the ability to have a lifelong impact on our children. Featuring: Stephen McGill II, Sherman Barksdale, Kenji Jackson and Glen Mourning. Books will be available for purchase at a signing after the program. Free, no registration required. For more information, go to bit.ly/PrattMLK2020Lecture.
Be the Light – Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Saturday, January 18 — Monday, January 20
Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
Join Port Discovery to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during the “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences in our community and learn how you can become a Change Maker. Take part in interactive programs and performances designed to educate, inspire and help children understand the positive impact that their actions can have, inspired by Dr. King’s message of promoting fairness. Activities are planned daily throughout the entire weekend. Open Saturday and Monday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. Admission: Ages 1 and up $17.95; Museum Members and children under age 1 free. For more information, go to https://www.portdiscovery.org/news-room/be-light-–-celebrating-legacy-dr-martin-luther-king-jr.
27th annual MLK Convocation: The Fierce Urgency of Now
Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.
Loyola University Maryland Reitz Arena, 4501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, pastor and social justice advocate, will speak at Loyola University Maryland’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation. Rev. Barber will discuss current event issues related to social and racial justice during his lecture, “Fierce Urgency of Now.” The MLK Convocation is an occasion for Loyola and the Baltimore community to launch the spring semester and the new year by coming together for shared inquiry into legacies of race and racial justice in America. This event is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is encouraged. To reserve your seats, please go to https://www.loyola.edu/join-us/mlk-convocation.