Martin Luther King Day: Events in New York City 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an American federal holiday celebrated annually on every third Monday of January, around the time of his birthday (January 15th). This year Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday 20th January 2014.

But it seems that the emphasis is on a “day on, not a day off” as part of the President’s national call to service, ‘United We Serve’. So, on the 28th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King Day, everybody should be doing their bit in the community, giving something back and all together helping others. That means no rubbish telly and certainly not plodding about the house in your pyjamas!

We take a look at the best Martin Luther King Day events on offer in New York City…

National Day of Service

To really get in to this National Day of Service business, go to the MLK Day website, type in your location and see how you can volunteer in your area.

Martin Luther King Day Parade

Join the MLK parade at Laurelton Blvd and Park and march to the Martin Luther King Center at 615 Riverside up 5th Avenue from 61st – 86th Street in Manhattan. Free.
When: Monday 20th January, 10:30am

Harlem Walking Tour

Follow in his footsteps and join a historic walking tour of Harlem, the centre of African-American culture in New York City. With Big Onion Walking Tours you will visit churches, theatres, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Striver’s Row and many of the major sites associated with the Harlem Renaissance.
When: Monday 21 January, 1-3pm
Where: Meet at Northwest corner of 135th Street & Lenox (Malcolm X) Avenue – in front of the Schomburg Center.
Cost: Adults $20, students $15
No reservation required, just show up and look out for the person holding the “Big Onion Walking Tours” sign.

Free Concert

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is performing for the 28th annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For 2014’s celebrations author and activist Angela Davis will make a speech, and there will be performances from modern jazz artist José James and the BCCC Singers of the Brooklyn Christian Cultural Center. There will be a screening of the 2012 film Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners and a gallery exhibition of artwork inspired by Dr. King by students from NYCHA Saratoga Village Community Center.
When: 17-20 January 2014
Where: Peter Jay Sharp Building, Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Cost: Free, first come, first served

New York University’s MLK Celebration Week

50 years after the infamous “I have a dream” speech, NYU is celebrating the dreamer himself with a week of exhibits, lectures and film screenings. The theme of this annual event is The Power of Courage: Passion, Purpose and Perserverance. However these events are kicking off at a later date between 3-8th February on the NYU campus.
When: 3-8th February 2014
Where: New York University Campus

Hostels in New York

If you are looking for NYC hotels or hostels be sure to look outside Manhattan too, especially if you have stayed in New York City before and fancy exploring another part of the city.

Lefferts Manor Bed & BreakfastLefferts Manor is located in Brooklyn in the trendy Clinton Hill area on a pleasant tree-lined street. The hostel is a short walk to the 24hr subway which is just five stops from Manhattan and many New York attractions. They offer spacious single, double and triple bedrooms, free Wi-Fi and even morning newspapers. Private rooms from €30.34 per night.

Alternatively the HI Hostel New York is a few minutes walk from Central Park on the Upper West Side. They host free pub crawls and clubbing nights or relax in their in-house movie theatre and watch films on the big screen. Shared rooms from €30.34pppn.

If you prefer private rooms the Broadway Hotel & Hostel has stylish interior design and special features including a cinema showing films daily, a library with fireplace and good self-catering facilities. Staff are happy to suggest pubs, bars and special local goings-on Shared rooms with 2-bed dorms from €28.82pppn and private from €29.58pppn.

Thanks to yngrich, Southern Arkansas University and jenschapter3 for the images off Flickr. Please note that all images were used under the Creative Commons license at the time of posting.

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5 Responses to “Martin Luther King Day: Events in New York City 2014”

  1. Church of the Covenant Reply

    In Manhattan, Church of the Covenant (PCUSA), 310 East 42nd Street at 2nd Ave., two blocks from Grand Central Station, sponsors an annual Martin Luther King Birthday celebration, concert, and soul food luncheon (catered by Spoonbread) with the Arthur C. Pulley Foundation and Church Women United, Waterside. Speakers include civil rights leader, Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, who marched with Martin Luther King on Washington DC. Saturday, January 15, 2010, 10AM – 2PM. Singer, Maya Caballero performs. Event free, luncheon $25. Mark your calendar for next year. 212-697-3185, http;//

  2. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  3. I just wanted to point out that the MLK Parade that has been highly advertised around the internet and above, “beginning at Laurelton Blvd.” is NOT IN MANHATTAN. After much searching, I finally found that it is in Long Beach, Long Island!(There is no MLK Center at 615 Riverside in Manhattan)!There are other parades happening in Manhattan though.

  4. I appreciate the efforts made by you and members of your team to keep his legacy and historical importance to America alive. I want to make you aware of a new audio book release entitled “Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of a National Leader” by Troy Jackson and Narrated by Andrew L Barnes. This is a very important work that is of great interest to your colleagues, students and participants in this years celebration.

    In this book, Mr. Jackson “…chronicles King’s emergence and effectiveness as a civil rights leader by examining his relationship with the people of Montgomery, Alabama. Using the sharp lens of Montgomery’s struggle for racial equality to investigate King’s burgeoning leadership, Jackson explores King’s ability to connect with the educated and the unlettered, professionals and the working class.”

    The Audio Book received the Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine in late 2013-2014 and will no doubt be of interest to your readers. I encourage you to review the audio book currently on sale at

    To read a copy of the review posted at AudioFile Magazine, the premiere source for Audio Books select the following link:

    “This book is destined to become an instant classic. Troy Jackson’s thorough and gripping biography demonstrates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, growth as a person and a leader. Andrew L. Barnes’s performance enhances the experience. Capturing an orator like King on audio is a daunting task, and the listener will appreciate Barnes’s agility as he handles each aspect of the book with apparent ease. Whether he’s describing an event or a meeting or delivering one of King’s speeches, Barnes excels at keeping the story moving and the listener engaged. The book itself is a superb and highly detailed account of the Civil Rights leader that reveals much more about King than many of us knew before. D.J.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine”

  5. Thank you for “Keeping the Dream Alive”.We must continue to educate our
    young about our history.By encouraging them to continue participating in the building of strong cultural communities, we will not loose sight of why the struggle continues.The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration is not about having the day off so you can catch the sales in the stores or sleep all day. We are called to participate in our communities by helping those in need.We can volunteer our services where needed; church programs,senior citizen centers etc, or help organize MLK birthday celebrations in places where people are still uninterested!How about celebrating by teaching young or old people how to read or write or tutorials in scholactics. There many ways to contribute. Be part of the soultion!I will participate at an event.

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