Weekend Events: Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Legacy at the Smithsonian

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Friday, January 14: Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Program

Come enjoy the Anacostia Community Museum's annual Martin Luther King celebration. This year's program, held at the National Museum of Natural History, features keynote speaker Fox News analyst Juan Williams in an insightful discussion with Essence magazine's White House correspondent Cynthia Gordy. Then pan-African performing company Taratibu performs step dances. Free. Baird Auditorium, Natural History Museum, 7:00-9:30 PM.

Saturday, January 15: 3-Day Family Festival: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

The American History Museum honors the memory of Dr. King with a host of events that will take place on Saturday, January 15, Sunday January 16 and Monday, January 17.

Activities include the American History Museum’s award-winning interactive play Join the Student Sit-Ins, which invites visitors to take the role of protesters during the sit-in movement that began at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth’s Lunch Counter in February of 1960. The powerful words of Dr. King are brought to life in the dramatic reading of his last speech, To the Mountaintop in the museum’s Flag Hall. Furthermore, you are invited to share your thoughts on what America has achieved in providing civil rights to all and on the challenges our nation still faces during the "Lift Your Voice" program. Free. American History Museum, 10:00 - 5:30.

Sunday, January 16: 2-Day Family Program: Sharing the Dream: A Multicultural Celebration of Love & Justice

This two day festival at the American Indian Museum takes place on Saturday, January 15 and Sunday, January 16.

Explore themes of love and justice through art, music, film, readings and live discussions. Artists such as Martha Redbone, Three Generationz, Michelle “Love the Poet” Nelson, Sandra Maria Esteves, Phoebe Farris,Cheick Hamala and Dovie Thomason will be available to discuss their work. There will also be hands-on activities for persons of all ages. Free. American Indian Museum, 11:00 -2:00.

Sunday's schedule of events at American Indian is as follows:


In "Highlights Tours," Cultural interpreters provide a 45-minute overview of the museum's history, landscape, building, exhibitions, and other points of interest. 11 AM – 11:45, 1:30 - 2:15, 3- 3:45


1:30 – 2:10  Martha Redbone Trio

3:00 – 3:40 Cheik Hamala

3:45 – 4:25 Three Generationz

4:30 – 5:10 Martha Redbone Trio


Dovie Thomason, Storyteller, 12:00  – 12:25

Michelle “LOVE the Poet” Nelson, Poet - LIVE WEBCAST, 2:00 – 2:25

Sandra Maria Esteves, Poet - LIVE WEBCAST, 2:30 – 2:55

Dovie Thomason, Storyteller, 3:00 – 3:25

3:30 – 4:55  Reel Injun, film by Neil Diamond (Cree). Entertaining and insightful, this documentary explores the Hollywood Indian through a century of cinema to uncover how the myths of "the Injun" has influenced the world's (mis)understanding of Native peoples. Clips from classic and recent films with candid interviews (Clint Eastwood, Chris Eyre, Robbie Robertson, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, and Russell Means, among others) trace the evolution of cinema's depictions of Native people from the silent film era to today.


2:30 – 3:00  “Hok-noth-dah?” (Did you hear?) – Listen! I have a story to tell. (for ages 5-9) A Native staff member reads books by or about Native Americans. "Hok-noth-da?" means "Did you hear?" in the Shawnee language.

ROOM 3010

Hands-On Activities, Cultural Interpreters help kids and families learn about Native culture through selected hands-on activities involving ledger art. 10:00  – 12:00, 1:00 – 3:00.

ROOMS 4018-4019

Dr. Phoebe Farris presents “Red, Black, and Brown: Artists and the Aesthetics of Race.” In this illustrated talk, Dr. Farris (Powhatan/Renape) discusses artists of mixed American Indian, African American, and Latin American heritage who reflect their identities in their art and who deal with themes of social justice. Primarily women, these artists reference race or identity in many ways, often juxtaposed with issues of gender, 1:00 – 1:55.

Monday, January 17: To the Mountaintop -- The Words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Experience a stirring and inspirational tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as actor Xavier Carnegie presents selections from some of Dr. King’s most powerful and compelling speeches and sermons. Free. American History Museum, 12:30-12:50 PM.

For updates on all exhibitions and events, visit our companion website goSmithsonian.com

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