Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Civil Rights Museum will this year host a virtual commemoration to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, the 52nd anniversary of his death.
The museum is located at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
For this year’s remembrance, the museum has reworked its original event to include a number of digital and interactive elements for audience members.
Events include a social media poetry challenge and a remote gathering of musicians who will perform King’s favorite song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Additionally, past ceremonies involving civil rights icons Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Rev. James Lawson as well as Duke University Professor Dr. Omid Safi will be replayed, according to the museum.
“We should always stop and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King on April 4, but this year it is needed more than ever as we try to navigate through this public health crisis,” said Museum president Terri Lee Freeman in a statement. “Dr. King’s message of economic equity is so relevant. We are seeing the devastation this crisis is taking not just on the health of our communities but on the economic wellbeing of our neighbors. We are seeing just how fragile the financial safety net is for far too many people. Celebrating King’s acceptance of humanity, but disdain of inequity and injustice, is very important in 2020.”