The People’s Holiday

An Afternoon with Christian McBride

Musician Christian McBride wearing a black suit seated in front of a piano

Six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride

Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

NMAAHC’s annual community program entitled The People’s Holiday features six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride in a digital performance inspired by his social justice-focused album entitled, The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons. The 45-minute concert of jazz and poetry will feature performances of students from The Julliard School and a poetry reading by award winning poet, Evie Shockley The concert will conclude with a conversation with Christian McBride moderated by Dwandalyn Reece, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs. This concert honors Dr. Kings’ commitment to racial equality, justice, and service.

The People's Holiday has been generously supported by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

The People's Holiday - An Afternoon with Christian McBride

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Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival

Placard stating "HONOR KING: END RACISM" carried in 1968 Memphis March

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Arthur J. "Bud" Schmidt

Day of Service Project Ideas

In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. Below we have some suggestions on how you can help others on this day of service.

Find a local charity that is accepting birthday donations. In some regions, there are charities that deliver birthday cheer as their mission. For inspiration about what to include in birthday box an internet search for “donate birthday in box.” Make sure that your donations adhere to your chosen charity’s guideline.

The King Family at Home

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Monica Karles and the Estate of James Karales, copyright Estate of James Karales

For the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, organizers recommended PB&J sandwiches and an apple for boxed lunches. Peanut Butter is on the 10 ten list for most food pantries and homeless shelters. Check to see if jelly or jam, bread, and apples are also accepted.

NOTE--Before you start, contact your local food bank or family shelter to learn about their current health and safety regulations. If you are working on birthday specific project, check to see if they have suggested guidelines. 

A quick internet search using “food bank near me” “family shelters near me” or “foster care near me” will give you a list of suggestions of where to donate.

Eating on the March: Food at the 1963 March on Washington

Laundry Pail used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Rev. Ralph David Abernathy to soak their feet after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Musuem of African American History and Culture

NOTE--Before you start, contact your local organizations that work with those without housing to learn about their current health and safety regulations. 

A quick internet search using “homeless shelter” will give you a list of suggestions of where to donate. 

 

In past years, the Museum has invited visitors to make warm hats and scarves that were then donated to local homeless shelters. This year, we are inviting you to contribute a much-needed, yet infrequently donated, item to your local homeless shelter—socks! 

Why socks? Socks keep feet warm and dry; they help protect feet from blisters, cuts, infections, and serious foot conditions. They prevent foot odor, which is both unhealthy and embarrassing. 

Bare feet next to a pair of worn boots

My Feet is Tired, But My Soul is Rested 1965

Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Tracy Martin and Michelle Martin Lunceford in memory of their father, Spider Martin. Copyright 1965 Spider Martin.

What kind of socks should you donate? 

New socks that are moisture wicking, antimicrobial, have smooth seams, and extra cushioning. Remember that those who are experiencing homelessness may be walking long distances and may have limited access to washing machines.  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the course of history and inspired us to build what he called "the beloved community." The King Legacy of Service 25th Anniversary video tells the story of how Dr. King's birthday evolved into a national day of service. Featuring civil rights luminaries such as Congressman John Lewis, Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery, and Ruby Bridges, the 7-minute video reminds us of the importance of keeping Dr. King's legacy of service alive and challenges us to make service a part of our lives ─ everyday of the year.

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Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From a sermon titled “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”

Create a Wall of Hopeful Voices

2020 was a year unlike any other in recent history. Through tragedy, civil unrest, and isolation we have been called upon to be strong, resilient, and hopeful. Use the talk back board below to let us know what makes you hopeful.

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We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Martin Luther King, Jr. From Martin Luther King: In My Own Words

History of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

01/01

The 15 Year Battle for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Despite the national fervor inspired by his death it took 15 years of persistence by civil rights activists a holiday created in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be approved by the federal government and an additional 17 years for it to be recognized in all 50 states.
Read Story

Explore the Collection

MLK National Holiday Push Back Button. Blue pin with white text

Pinback button promoting Martin Luther King Day 1982

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
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Program from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Program from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
View Object
Pinback button for a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pinback button for a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
View Object
MLK National Holiday Push Back Button. Blue pin with white text
Program from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church
Pinback button for a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.