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This year's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade begins at noon Monday at MLK Boulevard and Eutaw Street.
This year's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade begins at noon Monday at MLK Boulevard and Eutaw Street. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna)

“Dark yesterdays will be transformed into bright tomorrows,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a group of ministers at Baltimore’s Faith Baptist Church during an October 1964 visit to the city.

This weekend, through Monday’s national holiday, we celebrate what would have been the 91st birthday of the slain civil rights leader who gave generations a sense of hope, who fought for the rights of the maligned by emphasizing the dignity of all. With banquets and speeches, music and film, a birthday cake and a parade, his memory will be invoked, his legacy honored.

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Happily, there’s no shortage of ways to remember Dr. King, and not all of them are organized. The website virtualrunevents.com is offering its first I Have a Dream 1-mile, 5K, 10K, 13.1-mile and 26.2-mile virtual races that can be run anytime this month, anywhere and at any speed; for $22, you get a bib to wear during your race and a medal that includes a quote from King, as well as his image. And organizations all over the metro area are offering days of service, the chance to honor King’s legacy by helping those less fortunate.

But for those anxious to celebrate together, here are a dozen suggestions:

Jan. 17

Jesse Shanks Sr., an Army veteran, U.S. Postal Service employee and longtime member of the Aberdeen Proving ground community, will receive the Alan Hillard Legum Civil Rights Award as part of Friday's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner in Glen Burnie.
Jesse Shanks Sr., an Army veteran, U.S. Postal Service employee and longtime member of the Aberdeen Proving ground community, will receive the Alan Hillard Legum Civil Rights Award as part of Friday's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner in Glen Burnie. (Courtesy Photo)

Glen Burnie: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Dinner

The Annapolis-based Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Of Maryland holds its 32nd annual dinner, an event whose ticket sales have helped place monuments to King and the civil rights struggle in Annapolis, Edgewater and Arnold. Awards will be made to a dozen civic and community leaders and students, including Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and others. The group is looking for a nonprofit to take over the event beginning in 2021, so this year’s dinner could be the committee’s last. 5 p.m. at La Fontaine Bleue, 7514 Ritchie Highway. $65-$125. Tickets through eventbrite.com.

Jan. 18

The movie "Selma" will be shown Jan. 18 at the Pratt Library's Reisterstown Road branch.
The movie "Selma" will be shown Jan. 18 at the Pratt Library's Reisterstown Road branch. (Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount Pictures)

Fordleigh : ‘Selma’

A free screening of director Ava DuVernay’s powerful, Oscar-nominated 2014 film set during the 1964 voting rights march in Alabama, from Selma to Montgomery. Stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King. 1 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Reisterstown Road branch, 6310 Reisterstown Rd. Free. prattlibrary.org.

Jan. 19

The documentary "Teach Us All" will be shown as part of "MLK Day 2020: An Unequal Education" at Baltimore's Creative Alliance on Jan. 19.
The documentary "Teach Us All" will be shown as part of "MLK Day 2020: An Unequal Education" at Baltimore's Creative Alliance on Jan. 19.

Highlandtown: ‘MLK Day 2020: An Unequal Education’

A screening of Sonia Lowman’s 2017 documentary “Teach Us All,” examining the issue of unequal education by looking at what’s happening in New York City, Los Angeles and Little Rock, Arkansas, will be followed by a panel of local experts discussing educational inequity. Finish by packing mid-year school supply restock kits for West Baltimore students. 11 a.m. at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. Free. creativealliance.org.

Columbia: 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration

A 2 p.m. reception will be followed by a youth-focused program of activities, including presentations to student essay and poster contest winners. Also on the agenda: announcement of the Living the Dream awards, given to an individual and an organization exemplifying Dr. King’s work. Sponsored by the Howard County Office of Human Rights. 2 p.m. at the Smith Theatre at Howard Community College’s Horowitz Center, on Campus Drive in Columbia. Free. Registration through eventbrite.com.

Downtown: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Lecture: ‘D.O.P.E. (Dedication, Opportunity, Positivity, and Excellence) Dad 101’

A panel of Stephen McGill II, Sherman Barksdale, Kenji Jackson and Glen Mourning will discuss black fathers in children’s literature, specifically “the super powers they possess: the ability to have a lifelong impact on our children.” 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. Free. prattlibrary.org.

Jan. 20

Woodlawn: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast

The 45th annual breakfast honoring Dr. King, sponsored by the Kings Landing Women’s Service Club. 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Road. $60. kingslandingwomen.com.

Elizabeth S. Morris, the first black woman to serve as Judge in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, will deliver the keynote speech at Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast at Live Casino & Hotel at Arundel Mills.
Elizabeth S. Morris, the first black woman to serve as Judge in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, will deliver the keynote speech at Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast at Live Casino & Hotel at Arundel Mills. (Courtesy Photo)

Hanover: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast

Elizabeth S. Morris, the first black woman to serve as judge in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, will be the keynote speaker at this 39th annual celebration. Honorees include Marguerite Morris, of Community Actively Seeking Transparency, and eight other Anne Arundel County civic and community leaders. 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at Live! Casino & Hotel, 7002 Arundel Mills Circle. $35, Tickets through eventbrite.com.

Broadway East: East Baltimore’s MLK Day of Service 2020

Honor Dr. King’s legacy of service by working on several projects within the community, including light demolition, overgrowth removal and large-scale trash clean-up. 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet at the lot closest to 1911 E Oliver St. Hosted by the New Broadway East Community Association and organized by The 6th Branch. the6thbranch.z2systems.com.

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Madison Park to Poppleton: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade

For the 20th time, bands, floats, step teams, pols and civic leaders will make their way down Baltimore’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to honor the preacher, author, activist and Nobel laureate. A sight for all to see. Begins at noon at Eutaw Street, then heads south to Baltimore Street. promotionandarts.org.

Sharon Langley, age 11 months, and her father, Charles C. Langley Jr., riding the carousel at Gwynn Oak Park on Aug. 28, 1963. Langley will discuss her role in desegregating the Baltimore amusement park during Monday's MLK Day Celerbration at the Lewis Museum.
Sharon Langley, age 11 months, and her father, Charles C. Langley Jr., riding the carousel at Gwynn Oak Park on Aug. 28, 1963. Langley will discuss her role in desegregating the Baltimore amusement park during Monday's MLK Day Celerbration at the Lewis Museum. (Baltimore Sun files)

Jonestown: MLK Day Celebration at The Lewis

Baltimore’s repository of Maryland African-American history celebrates Dr. King with performances from the Baltimore City College Choir; a discussion featuring Traci Parker, Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on “Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement”; a presentation of “The Voices of Carmen,” a high school-set version of Bizet’s famous opera, “Carmen”; and the chance to visit an oral history video booth and tell your own stories of fighting social injustice, part of the “A Ride to Remember” story hour and mural art project. “A Ride to Remember," by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, tells of the struggle to desegregate Baltimore County’s Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in the early ’60s; Langley was the first African-American child to ride the park’s carousel. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St. $5, free for kids 6 and under. lewismuseum.org.

Artist and Morgan State alum Kyle Yearwood will be part of the American Visionary Art Museum's MLK Day celebration on Monday.
Artist and Morgan State alum Kyle Yearwood will be part of the American Visionary Art Museum's MLK Day celebration on Monday.

Federal Hill: MLK Dare to Dream Day

The American Visionary Art Museum’s annual celebration “honoring one of history’s greatest visionaries” includes an artist talk by exhibiting artist Kyle Yearwood; a Poetry Slam and Open Mic featuring Olu Butterly and Chuck The MADD OX; music from the Cardinal Shehan Choir; an African dance and drum performance from Keur Khaleyi; a Power Patch printmaking workshop; and, of course, birthday cake. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at AVAM, 800 Key Highway. Free, including museum admission. avam.org.

LEA will perform “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement” Monday at the Carroll Arts Center.
LEA will perform “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement” Monday at the Carroll Arts Center.

Westminster: ‘Songs of the Civil Rights Movement’

Baltimore-born singer LEA performs a mix of gospel, folk, rock, jazz and blues, songs that “became the sound track for a generation of Americans in the 1950’s and 1960’s.” 2 p.m. at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St. $8-$12. carrollcountyartscouncil.org.

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