New-York Historical Society Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Black Power Panels

Three ways to celebrate MLK Jr. this weekend.

Stephen Somerstein, Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to the crowds at Montgomery.
Photo: Stephen Somerstein.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day takes place this year on Monday, January 18, but the New-York Historical Society is starting the celebration early with a weekend full of activities. The museum, which is typically closed on Mondays, will also be open for the occasion.

From January 16 to 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum will hosting Living History Days, where patrons can learn about the 26th New York Regiment US Colored Troops’s contributions to the Civil War through a closer look at clothing and weaponry in the 1860s.

The New-York Historical Society. Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society.

The New-York Historical Society. Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society.

On January 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., a panel titled “Civil Rights Then and Now: Black Power at 50” will take place in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, featuring American Civil Liberties Union director Dennis Parker, Rutgers associate history professor Dr. Donna Murch, and writer, activist, and Columbia University professor Jamal Joseph. The discussion will revolve around the concept of “black power,” a term first coined by activist Stokely Carmichael in 1966.

On January 18 at 2 p.m., author Calvin Alexander Ramsey read Ruth and the Green Book, a novel about a young girl helping her family traverse the roads of the Jim Crow South using the Negro Motorists Green Book, Victor Hugo Green’s 1936 guidebook that helped black travelers safety navigate the nation. A book signing and Q&A session will follow.

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