Nationwide Civil Rights Museum to Host Digital Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Loss of life on April 4

Memphis, TN, March 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The National Civil Rights Museum at Lorraine Motel will host a virtual memorial service in honor of Dr. Presenting King’s Life and Legacy. Due to the pandemic, this is the museum’s second virtual commemoration. “I remember MLK: the man. The movement. The moment. “Broadcast at 5:00 p.m. Central Sunday, April 4, on the museum’s website and on the livestream platforms.

Every year the museum commemorates the tragic event that took place on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968. At this year’s event, there will be a conversation with Rev. James Lawson, a key ally of the king and staunch supporter of nonviolent philosophy who has trained a number of activists in the field of civil disobedience. NBC correspondent Tracie Potts will moderate the conversation. The ecumenical tribute includes the invocation of Bishop David P. Talley of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

The main speaker is Dr. Bernard L. Richardson, the dean of the historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel and the religious officer of Howard University. His remarks will examine the life of the king and his legacy of altruism. Under his leadership, the chapel impacts students through, among other things, Alternative Spring Break (ASB), the HU Day of Service, the Interfaith Advisory Board, the Department of Justice for Youth, and the University’s Children’s Defense Fund’s first Freedom School. He set an example to affirm religious diversity and freedom both on campus and across the community.

“April 4th is a time for us to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Dr. Noelle Trent, director of interpretation, collections and education at the museum. “This year’s commemoration is an opportunity to reflect not only on Dr. King’s legacy, but also how each of us has been influenced over the past year.”

The museum guides will perform the poem “Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Gwendolyn Books. Musical performances by singers Karen Brown and Chris Barnes are scheduled during the commemoration and will end with “Precious Lord”, Dr. King’s favorite gospel anthem performed by the Adajyo vocal ensemble. The show will culminate with the ringing of the bells and a moment of silence at 6:01 p.m. when Dr. King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

On April 4th at 2 p.m., museum educator Dory Lerner will read the children’s book Martin’s Big Words, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier. This story tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. starting with his childhood and lifetime, his leadership of the civil rights movement and his legacy as a change maker. The museum will display artifacts from its teaching collection and encourage families to create a book or work of art that will inspire people to help build our beloved community.

The commemoration will be followed by the premiere of “Caged”, a Chamber Orchestra piece commissioned by the Afro-American composer Brian Nabors and performed by the Artist Fellows of the Iris Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra / University of Memphis Fellows, two prestigious programs for aspiring musicians from African American and Latinx communities who are historically underrepresented populations in classical music. The piece was written for the fellows to encourage commitment to uplifting community during the pandemic. Nabors commented, “What a gift it is to have something as powerful as music that further lifts our spirits and eventually pulls us to the other side.”

Due to the Easter holidays, the museum is closed on Sunday April 4th. However, guests are always welcome on the balcony courtyard to pay tribute. Registration to view the virtual commemoration is strongly recommended. Moderated comments can also be shared during the April 4th virtual broadcast. More information is available at

Comments are closed.