11 top Fort Worth events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. in 2021

January 12,2021

See full CultureMap article by Stephanie Allmon Merry here.

In a development that's not surprising but nonetheless disappointing, Fort Worth's 2021 MLK Day parade has been canceled amid the ongoing pandemic.

Rather than pivot to a virtual parade format, as the annual Parade of Lights did way back in November, both in-person and virtual activities will take place to honor the Civil Rights leader on and around the official holiday, Monday, January 18. They include an online film screening, moderated discussions, jazz concert, and more. Some are free; others require advance tickets.

Here's a rundown of events, many of which are being promoted by the city:

Virtual film screening and discussion
The critically acclaimed film John Lewis: Good Trouble will be presented virtually, followed by an online moderated discussion. The movie examines the relationship between King and the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter, it chronicles the life and career of the Democratic representative from Georgia and uses rare archival footage to explore his childhood experiences, social activism, and meeting with King in 1957.  

Register for the event here to receive a link to a virtual screening room, where you can watch the film any time from 7 pm January 12 through 7 pm January 14.

Then, register separately here for moderated discussion via Webex with Fort Worth's Chief Equity Officer and Director of the Diversity & Inclusion Department, Christina Brooks, at 7 pm January 14. 

Virtual panel discussion
"The Importance of Creating an African American Museum in Fort Worth," moderated by Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa, will feature panelists John L. Barnett, DDS; Jason Shelton, Ph.D.; and Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc. 12-1:30 pm January 14. Register here.

Magnolia at the Modern presents MLK/FBI
Based on newly declassified files, Sam Pollard’s resonant film MLK/FBI explores the U.S. government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. The film screens fives times at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, January 15-17. $7-$10. Purchase advance tickets here

Civil Rights Pioneers Recognition Awards Program
A celebration honoring King and other civil rights activist pioneers will feature as guest speaker historian, author, and educator Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney. Honorees include Xernona Clayton, Hon. John Lewis, Hon. Andrew Young, and, Rev. C. T. Vivian. The in-person event ($75 per person) takes place at The Warehouse, 1125 E. Berry St., and virtually (free) via YouTube. 7-9 pm January 15. Purchase advance tickets here.

Day of service
The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum presents the MLK Jr. Day of Service, which includes a Canned Food and Blanket Drop-off and Family Fun Day at The Ranch, 3534 E. Berry St. 10 am-2 pm January 16. Free, but RSVP here.

Celebration concert
Celebrate with Music! featuring The David Whiteman Band will take place in-person at The Warehouse, 1125 E. Berry St. Enjoy the concert virtually via Youtube (free) or in person ($35-$50). 8-10 pm January 16. Buy tickets here.

Jazz concert
Celebrate with Music! featuring “An Evening of Jazz ” will be held in-person at The Warehouse, 1125 E. Berry St. Performers include Donyale Renee, Bobby Falk, and Dewayne Washington & Faces the Band. Enjoy the concert virtually via Youtube (free) or in person ($35-$50). 7-9 pm January 17. Purchase tickets here

MLK Day of service
The official holiday will be devoted to service initiatives, along with an In-N-Out hamburger lunch, at New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, 2864 Mississippi Ave. 9 am-5 pm January 18.

MLK Tribute
A Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring the “I Have a Dream Speech” will be presented via YouTube. 3-4 pm January 18.

MLK Day virtual discussion
"King’s Path of Social Gospel," a virtual discussion led by Dr. Dwight Watson and presented by the Fort Worth Public Library and the Fort Worth Diversity & Inclusion Department, will be presented for free. 6-8 pm January 18. Register here.