GPB News Staff, GPB News
2024 marks the 39th year of honoring the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
In 1984, Georgia’s Gov. Joe Frank Harris signed a state bill into law on April 3, one day before the 16th anniversary of King’s murder.
Federal observance of King Day became official in 1986, but did not expand to all 50 states until 2000.
King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, and the city is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.
With the MLK weekend approaching, events celebrating the life and work of King will take place Jan. 11 to Jan. 15, 2024 throughout Georgia. Here is a list of activities and commemorations.
The King Center, established by the slain civil rights leader’s wife, Coretta Scott King, will host:
- The 2024 Beloved Community Awards on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at The Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. It will recognize those taking leadership over social justice matters “in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
- The culminating program for the weeklong celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy is the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Beloved Community Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event will be live streamed on multiple platforms, including Facebook and thekingcenter.org, as well as televised on Fox 5 Atlanta.
- The Martin Luther King Jr. March starts at 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the corner of Peachtree and Baker Streets in downtown Atlanta. A rally will immediately follow the march on Auburn Avenue in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.
You can pay a visit to Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights to see the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, consisting of papers and artifacts belonging to King. FedEx is sponsoring free admission to the Center on Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Atlanta History Center will pack MLK Day full of activities on Monday, Jan. 15, including civil rights-themed trivia, crafts, kids’ activities, panel discussions, and more. It’s open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hands On Atlanta hosts its annual MLK Day of Service through Jan. 15 and Sunday Supper on Jan. 14. Click here for information about opportunities and registration.
The Atlanta Hawks take on the San Antonio Spurs in their annual ‘MLK Day Game’ on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at home in State Farm Arena. The game will feature a half-time performance by Killer Mike and a celebration the legacy, influence, and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Jan. 15, a program will be held at 11 a.m. at the 325 Whitney Ave. location ahead of a march that begins at noon at Shiloh Baptist Church. A brief stop at the former site of the Greyhound bus station that figured prominently in the civil rights era, now the site of the city’s Transportation Center, is planned.
The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and Albany State University West Camus are partnering for the 2024 MLK Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. The Table of Brotherhood is a celebration of the ideals of unity inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Athens will host its Athens MLK Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15, where volunteers can commit to a number of services to do. The kickoff event will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Lay Park gym on Hoyt Street, where volunteers can enjoy refreshments, performances and words from a keynote speaker.
Sponsored by the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, the Downtown Athens 8th annual Athens MLK Day Parade & Music Festival is free to attend with registration — $35 + fees for registration if walking in the parade. The festival lasts noon to 6 p.m.
In collaboration with the August NAACP, the city has its annual MLK parade on Saturday, Jan. 13, beginning at 1 p.m. at Dyess Park Community Center.
The City of Columbus has announced MLK events across the weekend from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, including a 1-mile walk, a procession, a presentation, a trail clean-up, a day of unity and service, and a commemorative bike ride. Click here for dates, times and lcoations.
On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission gathered for a wreath-laying ceremony in Rosa Parks Square. You can watch the full ceremony here.
Macon-Bibb county will host its annual MLK Day March on Monday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. The march will begin at the Gordon City Hall at 115 College Street and arrive at St. John CME Church for worship and a community announcement.
The Cobb County’s NAACP branch and the Cobb County Government are partnering to host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Monday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Marietta, Ga. All members of the public are free to enjoy entertainment, dances, readings, and musical performances, and the chance to see the distributing of the “Living the Dream” award to a “community member who demonstrates the ideals King exemplified.”
The city’s MLK Freedom March begins at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 15. Participants should gather at 11 a.m. at First St. in downtown Rome for the march to City Hall.
The Observance Day Association in Savannah, Ga., is hosting its Citywide Memorial Worship Service in honor of MLK Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. The event will take place at St. Phillip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church in Savannah where the Rev. Dr. Ephraim D. Stephens, pastor of Bull Swap Baptist Church in South Carolina, will serve as a guest speaker.
The association also has its annual MLK Jr. parade on Monday beginning at 10 a.m. Information on the parade route can be found here.
This story comes to the Macon Report through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.