On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Celebrating His Life and Legacy at BAM

Council Member Laurie Cumbo addressing the audience


Earlier today, hundreds gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to commemorate and celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was the institution’s 32nd annual gathering in memory of the civil rights leader.

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Borough President Eric Adams, with prop

Borough President Eric Adams hosted the event, and introduced a number of fellow local politicians to speak, including senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Laurie Cumbo and Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Keynote speaker Jelani Cobb

Keynote speaker Jelani Cobb

Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, was the keynote speaker. His opening remarks zeroed in on the countries that were the focus of widely criticized recent comments by President Trump.

“These are the people whom this country is intimately and intricately indebted to,” Cobb said. “We cannot talk about the story of American freedom or American liberty without talking about the people of Haiti or talking about the African continent, which supplied the labor that built this country in the first place.”

martin luther king jr celebration bam 2018

The singer Martha Redbone

The Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir opened the event with a rousing musical medley, and the blues and soul singer Martha Redbone, joined by a lively band, performed a number of songs.

martin luther king jr celebration bam 2018

Alexis P. Suter performing with the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir

martin luther king jr celebration bam 2018

Sign language interpreter

martin luther king jr celebration bam 2018

Mayor Bill de Blasio

martin luther king jr celebration bam 2018

Martha Redbone and her band

[Photos by Craig Hubert]

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