Roundup of MLK Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan

rom speeches to live performances to family events, Jan. 16, 2012 gives people all across Detroit a chance to celebrate the life – and what would have been the 83rd birthday – of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here, B.L.A.C. Detroit rounds up some of the outstanding MLK Jr. Day events around town.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Church of the Messiah

  • Address: 231 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-567-1158
  • Time: 2-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Grace Lee Boggs, Ron Scott and Frithjof Bergman discuss Dr. King's concept of "beloved community" and activism in Detroit.

Sunday, Jan. 15

Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center

  • Address: 311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-965-8430
  • Time: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Donation/poetry book, volunteer time or money

This event, titled "Free Verse: Poetry and Music Celebrating Life + Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit," features Detroit's top poets and musicians – banding together to raise awareness of the issue of illiteracy in Detroit. The line-up includes poet, publisher and founder of Black Women Rock jessica Care moore; writer, activist and poet Khary Kimani Turner; and Detroit's Poet Laureate, Naomi Long Madgett.

Monday, Jan. 16

Painting with a Twist

  • Address: 320 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-850-7182
  • Time: 2-4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $

Workshops, treats and a painting session are in store for attendees. Design your very own "I have a dream" work of art – with supplies provided by this Ferndale artists' spot.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with museum admission, $30/luncheon

This 12th annual event kicks off with a commemorative breakfast, featuring speaker Rev. Dr. Georgia Hill of Plymouth United Church of Christ. The remainder of the day offers children's workshops and storytelling, health screenings, video documentaries and more.


Shriners Silver Garden Events Center

  • Address: 24350 Southfield Road, Southfield
  • Phone: 313-873-1500
  • Time: 8:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $

This 20th annual scholarship breakfast features Rev. Dr. Charles G. Adams, senior pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, as the keynote speaker. He will help honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

Henry Ford Hospital, Buerki Auditorium

  • Address: 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 800-436-7936
  • Time: Noon-1:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Henry Ford Health System hosts this 13th annual celebration, featuring journalist, author and Detroiter Bankole Thompson and performances by local artists. This event is open to the public. The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries will be collecting blanket and coat donations, as well.

Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church

  • Address: 17150 Maumee St., Grosse Pointe
  • Phone: 313-881-0420
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $

This concert titled A Martin Luther King Day Concert: Music that Matters features an acoustic folk and blues performance by Matt Watroba and Rev. Robert Jones.

DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan

  • Address: 3901 Beaubien St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-745-5437
  • Time: 1 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Nicholas Hood Sr., one of the founding members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is the keynote speaker at this event, which also features performances by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Marygrove College Dance Company and the Plymouth United Church of Christ Renaissance Choir.

Village Theater at Cherry Hill

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $2/donation

Don't miss this special tribute, titled "Building Bridges: Canton Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." There will be speakers, a presentation of Dr. King's biography and musical performances by the New Hope Church Choir.

Hill Auditorium

  • Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-763-3333
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate Dr. King's legacy with The Call to Sacrificial Service show, featuring the chamber choir. Tickets for the show aren't needed.

Troy Athens High School

  • Address: 4333 John R St., Troy
  • Phone: 248-524-1147
  • Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Donations welcome

People of all ages are welcome to attend this "Celebration of Freedom," which includes a peace walk, live music, speakers and an art exhibit.

Flint Cultural Center

  • Address: 1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-237-5131
  • Time: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The Flint Institute of Arts partners with the Flint Public Library, giving you and your family free admission to this event that includes drop-in crafts, performances and speakers.

Farmington Community Library, Main Branch

  • Address: 32727 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-553-0300
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The fun kicks off at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (located at 28000 New Market Road in Farmington Hills) with a walk to the library – where there will be live performances and speeches, a blood donation clinic and arts and crafts. At 10:45 a.m., Margaret Mason, author of These Hands, tells the story of the civil rights effort at the Detroit Wonder Bakery – where African Americans were welcome to work as long as they didn't touch the bread.

University of Michigan, Detroit Center

  • Address: 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-593-3584
  • Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Award-winning journalist Michele Norris kicks off the event as keynote speaker at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. Then, from 1 to 3 p.m., panelists will discuss Detroit's community involvement and development during "It's Going On in the Hood."

Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School

  • Address: 3200 E. Lafayette St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-7373
  • Time: 9 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

See the Birmingham Jail Cell exhibit, watch Central High School's skit, march in a rally and more at this event, which is open to the public. There will be live musical performances and panel discussions, too.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $4/person

Enjoy reduced admission to this hands-on science hotspot – fun for kids and parents alike. There will be live musical performances by local bands Gratitude Steel Band and the Legendary Wings.

The Detroit Zoo

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $

Spend some time – and your day of from work and school – at the Detroit Zoo, which is offering $2 off regular admission prices in honor of MLK day. In order to receive this discount, you must print out a coupon from the Detroit Zoo's website. Stop by to see the tigers, pandas, elk, snow monkeys and more.

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Max M. Fisher Music Center

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-0717
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $

It's a post-birthday celebration at this Wayne State University event, featuring keynote speaker Donna Brazile – a political strategist, author and TV news commentator. You can snag tickets for the program only, or for the program along with a strolling lunch.

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