Light Rain   37.0F  |  Forecast »

MLK Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan

Celebrate the civil rights activist's life on Jan. 21, 2013 at events happening in metro Detroit.

On Monday, Jan. 21, and Tuesday, Jan. 22, honor civil rights activist, visionary and leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and celebrate what would have been his 84th birthday by attending events that commemorate his work, message and legacy. Check out BLAC Detroit Magazine's collection of events to see what activities are near you.



DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan

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

Performances by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sphinx artists and the Marygrove College Dance Company are in store during this free event. Juanita Moore, president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, will be the keynote speaker.

Village Theater at Cherry Hill

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. (reception), 6 p.m. (program)
  • Cost: $2

This tribute, titled Building Bridges: Canton Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will include a pre-program reception featuring light refreshments, a presentation of Dr. King's life in dramatic form, musical performances and a panel discussion.

Hill Auditorium

  • Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-763-3333
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Listen to the inspirational words of Morris Dees, who, as a lawyer and public advocate, devoted his career to fighting hate crimes. As the keynote speaker, Dees will kick off this year's 27th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, titled 50 Years Later: (R)Evolution of the Dream, to commemorate the work and life of MLK.



The Roeper School

  • Address: 41190 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
  • Phone: 248-203-7379
  • Time: 5-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate the memory of MLK at this annual event that has been held for over 25 years. The activities start at 5 p.m. at the Roeper Community Center with a meal. After the meal, the ceremony begins with reflections on King's life and accomplishments. A candlelight walk will follow at approximately 7:15 p.m.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 8 a.m.-10 a.m. (commemorative breakfast), 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. (MLK Day activities)
  • Cost: Free with museum admission ($8/ages 13-61, $5/kids ages 3-12 and seniors 62-plus, free/under 3), $35/breakfast

This historical hotspot is hoppin' on Jan. 21! A commemorative breakfast kicks off the series of events. Following breakfast, children can create crafts, check out concert performances and watch A King Among Us, a video tribute to MLK. If you purchase tickets to the breakfast, you also receive free admission to all MLK Day activities at the museum. Make sure to check this out!

Troy Athens High School

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

All are welcome to join Athens High School as it hosts a multi-activity event, titled Celebration of Freedom, in honor of MLK Jr. Keynote speaker Rev. Richard Gleason will be sharing his experiences as a former Freedom Rider, so don't miss out on this educational experience.

Farmington Community Library, Main Branch

  • Address: 32727 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-553-0300
  • Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The fun kicks off at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (located at 28000 New Market Road, Farmington Hills) as members of the community take a walk to the library, where the fun includes live performances, speeches and more. At 10:45 a.m., history performer Ruby Barker reenacts Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Poet Ber-Henda Williams will be present at the library at 11:30 a.m. Storytellers Audrey and Bob Allison entertain with their tales at 1 p.m. And the Harrison High School Dance Company wraps up the day's activities with a performance at 2 p.m.

Hill Auditorium

  • Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-2538
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 - $44

University Musical Society and the U-M MLK Symposium will pay tribute to King with music inspired by his legacy. "From Cass Corridor to the World: A Tribute to Detroit’s Musical Golden Age" features the D-3 Trio, which consists of Geri Allen, Robert Hurst, and Karriem Riggins. Marcus Belgrave, George Shirley, James Carter, Ali Jackson, and Marion Hayden are special guest performers.

The Henry Ford Museum

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Leonard Pitts Jr., will speak about Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, engage a student panel in their views of civil rights, and will sign copies of his book "Freeman."

Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School

  • Address: 3200 E. Lafayette St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-7373
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. (doors open), 10 a.m. (walk begins)
  • Cost: Free

It is quite fitting to remember Dr. King's greatness at a high school that was named in his honor. So head out to the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School's fourth annual MLK tribute, "From Dreams to Reality." A legacy walk, musical performances and exhibit tours will all be included in this event!

Henry Ford Hospital, Buerki Auditorium

  • Address: 2799 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 800-436-7936
  • Time: noon
  • Cost: Free

Hosted by Henry Ford Health System, this annual event will feature author William Alexander Haley, son of Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley. Entertainment by Detroit's Mosaic Youth Chorale, the Martin Luther King High School Drumline and Henry Ford Health System Music Ensemble are included in this event.

The Detroit Zoo

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $12/adults, $10/senior citizens (ages 62-plus), $7/ages 2-14, free/under age 2 (that's $2 off)

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

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Max M. Fisher Music Center

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-5284
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Cost: $10-$65

Wayne State University's tribute brings together the metro Detroit community to celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. The 2013 keynote speaker is former U.S. Representative and NBC News Analyst Harold Ford Jr.

Gem Theater

  • Address: 333 Madison, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-963-9800
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $125

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech. Performances by Simone, star of Broadway’s Rent and Nina Simone’s daughter, plus Miri Ben-Ari, Grammy Award winning violinist. 

Add your comment:

More »New Content

Local Detroit Woman Brings Light in Life's Darkest Times

Local Detroit Woman Brings Light in Life's Darkest Times

Marie Taylor of Heard and Taylor Family Funeral Home handles the heaviness and hardships of death with a smile.

BLAC List: Haunted and Paranormal Activity in Detroit

BLAC List: Haunted and Paranormal Activity in Detroit

The best Halloween happenings in and around metro Detroit of October 2014.

Shani Penn on Black Women in Politics

Shani Penn on Black Women in Politics

The senior advisor to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder talks African American women in politics and their influence on history.

Inside Detroit Rapper Trick Trick's No Fly Zone

Inside Detroit Rapper Trick Trick's No Fly Zone

The local performer talks rivalries, community and being the gatekeeper of entertainment in the Motor City.