#MLKNow Honors + Inspires

Organized by Blackout for Human Rights with a hand from Ryan Coogler the director behind Fruitvale Station and recent blockbuster Creed, #MLKNow was an artist showcase in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event took place in Harlem at Riverside Church, a building that has history of supporting the civil rights movement and hosting speakers, one of which was Dr. King.

The presentation included performances from musical artists such as India Arie and Bilial, as well as recitations of black legends speeches such as Fred Hampton Defines Revolution recited by Michael B. Jordan and Sojourner Truth’s ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ by Anika Noni Rose. There were dozens of artists from Chris Rock to JCole to Tessa Thompson and activists present. The energy of the speakers, their message and the importance of the event was strong and palpable and I was nowhere near Riverside Church, instead I sat at my work desk with my phone turned upside down to listen to the livestream.

The incomparable Harry Belafonte spoke and it was profound and inspiring. Apart from his recitation his personal speech was just as empowering. Most distinguishing to me was his ability to draw parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and the grassroots Black Lives Matter movement happening now. The idea and undisputable fact that revolution has always been led by the young and there is no need to wait for someone to intervene, the youth can take charge and we can implement change.

The entire event was full of amazing performances, speeches with historical importance that with modern applications, making the entire MLK Day presentation not only entertaining but inspiring and most importantly relevant.

If you missed the live event it is available to view online here.