Sunday, January 19, 2014

Marking Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

If you're like me, you want to find a way to mark MLK Day with your family (besides doing something like shopping, even if you are shopping at the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop 20% Off Sale--which, by the way, has to do with having a 20% off sale on the 20th of every month in honor of their 20th anniversary, and not with MLK Day.)

On the other hand, what exactly do you do with a 5 year old, a 10 year old, a 15 year old?

Here are a few ideas.

1. From 2-3p on Sunday, January 19 the Pittsfield Branch will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with award-winning author & illustrator Bryan Collier highlighting his 2002 book Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. The event is geared towards elementary school aged kids (grades K-5).

2. There will be a second event to honor Martin Luther King Jr on Monday, January 20 from 1-2p at the Downtown Branch with the Biakuye Percussion Group. The event is for grades K through adult.
A Cuban stamp with the image of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
King. Found online here

3. University of Michigan is hosting the MLK Children and Youth Program, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, at the Modern Lanagues Building, 812 E. Washington. This is targeted to K-12 students, and you can go in and out of the program. (It's really a series of events. I've found some to be very good, and others rather boring.)

4. University of Michigan is also hosting a Black History Mobile Museum on MLK Day from 10-7 in the Art Lounge in the Michigan Union. This year it is focused on 15 Black people who have won the Nobel Peace Prize, and there is also a special section focused on Harry Belafonte, who is the MLK Day Keynote Speaker at UM.

5. Older kids (especially those interested in the connection between music, acting, and social activism) may be interested in hearing Harry Belafonte, who will be speaking at Hill Auditorium at 10 a.m. on MLK Day.

(Find out more about the University of Michigan MLK-related events here.)

6. Really, this is more for adults: Geoffrey Canada, of the Harlem Children's Zone will be the EMU keynote speaker at 10 a.m. at the Student Center. I've been told that he's quite impressive--but remember that the HCZ has had millions and millions of dollars spent on it. Given the per-pupil funding of an Ypsilanti or Lincoln school district, you might ask him what aspects are easy to implement without tons of additional fund. 

7. Ypsilanti District Library--Main Branch has a concert with Rev. Robert Jones at 4 p.m.--he is a wonderful Detroit-area performer and huge supporter of American Roots music. (And you may remember his show on WDET.)

8. Ypsilanti District Library--Whittaker Branch has the You Can't Stop Me Project singing at 6:30 p.m. They are a group of kids who sing and perform. 

9. Read or listen to a related book (something about the Little Rock 9?)--there are lots of great ideas for books.

10. Watch a movie with your kids. Right now the movie 12 Years A Slave is at Rave Cinemas but of course there are many other options. Want a sports movie? How about Glory Road or 42 or the Jackie Robinson Story?

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