Arts & Culture

Keeping the Dream Alive

Museums in Atlanta, Memphis, and Washington D.C., honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s enduring legacy fifty years after his death

Photo: Tim Bower

Atlanta, Georgia

“If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving,” King said during a 1960 speech at Atlanta’s Spelman College. Momentum is the theme of the King Center’s MLK50 Forward program, which runs through April 9. Highlights include the awarding of the Martin Luther King Peace Prize, a youth-led global technology gathering, and the continuation of the center’s series, Beloved Community Talks.

 Memphis, Tennessee

Built around the Lorraine Motel, where King was shot and killed, the National Civil Rights Museum will host a two-day symposium, MLK50: Where Do We Go from Here? (April 2–3). Speakers include the former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and the King biographer Taylor Branch. On April 4, the forward-looking theme continues with a daylong commemorative ceremony that ends with An Evening of Storytelling, where civil rights leaders past and present, including Georgia congressman John Lewis, will look to the future of the movement.

Washington, D.C.

In King’s final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, he calls for a fight against poverty and its universally crippling effects. Honoring that sentiment, the Museum of American History, along with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, launched a new exhibition, City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, which showcases artifacts, videos, and oral histories from the eight thousand people who occupied the National Mall for six weeks after King’s death.