Join The 18th Annual WNYC And Harlem’s Apollo MLK Day Event

January 10, 2024

WNYC and The Apollo present the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, programmed as part of The Apollo’s Uptown Hall series in Harlem, NY.

The event takes place on Sunday, January 14, 2023, at 2 pm.

 This annual co-production between two of New York City’s leading media and cultural institutions has become the city’s signature event commemorating the political, cultural, and social legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

This year’s event, “The Inconvenient King,” examines the history of the word woke in the context of Dr. King’s work to build awareness, action, and urgency around injustice and discrimination. The afternoon is co-hosted by WNYC hosts Kai Wright (Notes from America) and Michael Hill (Morning Edition). WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, host of the podcast Every Voiceis Master of Ceremonies.  

The day’s guests are as follows: 

  • Jonathan Eig, Author of the critically acclaimed biography King: A Life 
  • Juliet Hooker, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science at Brown University and author, Black Grief/White Grievance: The Politics of Loss 
  • Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef, Grammy-nominated Afro-Indigenous singer, songwriter, and activist
  • Alvin Singh, Great-great nephew of Lead Belly and producer of the documentary Lead Belly: The Man Invented Rock & Roll
  • Rahiel Tesfamariam, Activist minister and founder, Urban Cusp 

In addition, the event will feature a taped interview with WNYC host Brian Lehrer speaking to Leah and Richard Rothstein, co-authors of Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law.

LaFontaine E. Oliver, President and CEO of New York Public Radio; Fatima Jones, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the Apollo; and Isisara Bey, Artistic Director of March on Washington Film Festival will give opening remarks.

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LIVESTREAM, NATIONAL RADIO BROADCAST and STANDBY TICKETS –  WNYC’s nationally syndicated radio show Notes From America with Kai Wright will record the event for broadcast on public radio stations across the country that evening at 6pm ET. The event will be available to digital audiences everywhere as a live stream via Apollo Digital Stage and on The Apollo’s Facebook, as well as on WNYC’s and The Apollo’s YouTube pages. 

In-person standby tickets are available on the day of the event. 


With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, WNYC is New York’s public radio station, broadcasting and streaming award-winning journalism, groundbreaking audio programming and essential talk radio to the city and beyond. WNYC is a leading member station of NPR and broadcasts programs from the BBC World Service, along with a roster of WNYC-produced local programs that champion the stories and spirit of New York City and the surrounding region. From its state-of-the-art studios, WNYC is reshaping audio for a new generation of listeners, producing some of the most beloved nationally syndicated public radio programs including Radiolab, On the MediaThe New Yorker Radio Hour, and the local radio show and podcast The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC broadcasts on 93.9 FM and AM 820 to listeners in New York and the tri-state area, and is available to audiences everywhere at, the WNYC app and through major digital radio services, all made possible through the generous support of our members, donors and sponsors.

The Apollo

The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In February 2024, The Apollo will open The Apollo Stages at The Victoria, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. For more information about The Apollo, visit

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit

March on Washington Film Festival

The March on Washington Film Festival was founded in 2013 in Washington, DC  to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The inaugural festival attracted over 1,000 attendees to ten events over the span of two weeks at venues across Washington DC. 

The flagship festival is held every year in Washington, DC, and serves as a national platform to tell, celebrate, and increase awareness of the untold events and icons and foot soldiers, known and unsung, of the Civil Rights Movement. The Festival uses film screenings as a platform for panel discussions featuring filmmakers, academics, and activists and brings together an audience that is diverse in age, class, and ethnicity. 

Over the years, the Festival has proven to be a successful civil rights legacy project, connecting with tens of thousands of attendees across the nation. Participants have included writers Nikki Giovanni, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Kitty Kelley; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Eugene Robinson and Hank Klibanoff; former U.S. Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch; celebrities  Diahann Carroll, Yara Shahidi, and 9th Wonder; and prominent Civil Rights veterans Joyce and Dorie Ladner, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Julian Bond, Judge Damon Keith, and many others.

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