The Apollo Announces MLK Celebration And Black History Month Programming For 2018

December 21, 2017

On Sunday, January 14, 2018, at 3pm, the Apollo Theater and WNYC are partnering for the fifth year to present WNYC’s 12th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, “50 Years After MLK: A Dream Deferred,” as part of the Apollo’s Uptown Hall series.

WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer and local All Things Considered host Jami Floyd will moderate meaningful conversations examining Dr. King’s legacy and its impact on modern social justice movements.

Through a lively mix of one-on-one interviews and panels featuring notable guests – including author and award-winning television host Tavis Smiley, civil rights leader and former attorney and advisor to Dr. King, Dr. Clarence Jones, and today’s prominent female activists such as Women’s March Co-Founder Linda Sarsour, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors, and scholar and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente – “50 Years After MLK: A Dream Deferred” will explore the progress that has been made in the half-century since Dr. King’s untimely death. In addition, panelists will discuss the evolution and persistence of issues he fought to eliminate, from racial and wage inequality to housing discrimination to police brutality, and will broach the question of what Dr. King’s vision and leadership mean in this time of moral and ethical ambiguity—in effect, what happens to his dream deferred?

The event will conclude with a rousing performance by the two-time Emmy Award-winning ensemble Vy Higginsen’s Gospel For Teens – a renowned group of teenagers who study and sing the art of gospel music in Harlem.

Featured guests will include:

  • Tavis Smiley, Author and host of PBS’s Tavis Smiley
  • Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder, Women’s March
  • Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter
  • Dr. Clarence Jones, civil rights leader and former attorney and advisor to Dr. King
    Rosa Clemente, activist, scholar, and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate (Green Party)
  • Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and MLK biographer
  • Jeanne Theoharis, Scholar and Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College
  • Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Activist and spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
  • Pandit Dasa – Author, Mindful Leadership and Wellbeing expert, and former practicing monk
  • Imam Khalid Latif – Executive Director and Chaplain at NYU’s Islamic Center, Chaplain with the NYPD
  • Minister Kristen John Foy – Minister, President of the Brooklyn Chapter of the National Action Network

WQXR’s Terrance McKnight will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

“We’re thrilled to partner once again with the Apollo Theater to celebrate Dr. King’s life and relevance in such an important anniversary year and at such a crucial moment for our country,” said Brian Lehrer. “It’s a great opportunity to bring the important conversations we convene on air into the community in person.”

“Fifty years after Dr. King’s assassination, I can think of no better place than Harlem and the Apollo to reflect on his work and mission,” said Jami Floyd. “Issues of race, justice and the need for unity are front and center again, in our country. My hope is that our conversation will open the door to reconciliation, as we embark on the next 50 years – together.”

“Since its inception, the Apollo Theater has served as a ‘town hall’ for local residents as well as people from all across New York City and as an agent of change for its community,” said Jonelle Procope, President & CEO of the Apollo Theater. “The Apollo is also a kind of organic gathering place for people at historic moments in African-American culture, as when thousands of people flocked to the Theater when Michael Jackson and James Brown passed away. Apollo Uptown Hall is a natural extension of that role, and so we are extremely proud to partner with WNYC again this year for their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration particularly as this will mark 50 years since Dr. King’s assassination. It is now more important than ever to address social justice issues that continue to plagued our country. ”

“50 Years After MLK: A Dream Deferred” is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are mandatory. Please RSVP here.

For more information visit are available at The Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,


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