National Civil Rights Museum shifts to hybrid King Day event as COVID surges

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 1:52 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The National Civil Rights Museum is making changes to its King Day celebrates as the COVID-19 surge continues.

“King Day: An All-Day Hybrid Celebration” is Jan. 17 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It includes free admission to the museum from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but with limited capacity. Guests must reserve passes online at, and they must wear masks. Sanitation stations will be posted throughout.

The museum is foregoing its courtyard entertainment, resource stations and children’s activities where people would’ve gathered in close proximity.

The virtual celebration will feature musical performances by Memphis musicians Garry Goin, TykeT, Karen Brown and more. Museum educator and historian Ryan Jones, aka DJ Thriller, will spin the turntables in a special salute to Dr. King’s life and legacy. Spoken word artist Carin Malone, aka Writeous Soul, will deliver a tribute to the civil rights leader. Museum educator Dory Lerner will present ideas for children and families to remember Dr. King, his character and the virtues he taught around love, peace and justice.

The virtual event is free and can be watched starting at 8 a.m. Viewers should register for the live stream link.


  • Visitors can tour the museum from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To secure admission, making online reservations is highly recommended for King Day, Jan. 17.
  • There will be music, announcements and recorded speeches by Dr. King from the Main Stage outdoors.
  • The emphasis is on “Double V,” vaccines and voting, to address vaccine hesitancy and voter apathy, two issues that are particularly adverse for communities of color in the U.S. and globally.
  • Through the Communities for Immunity project, the museum is sharing online resources and a survey to gauge response to the urgency of COVID and getting vaccinated.
  • For its food drive benefitting the Mid-South Food Bank, the museum is requesting that guests bring canned good donations to help feed the growing number of hungry families in the Mid-South.
  • The museum continues its annual blood drive with Vitalant to help with the critical shortage. Anyone donating blood receives a free admission pass for up to four people any day in 2022.

For more information, visit The event hashtag is #KingDay2022.

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