King Historical Park going virtual for week’s celebrations

201010-Atlanta- Some of the banners that make up the new exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park hang outside of the visitors center on Saturday, October 10, 2020, in Atlanta during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor the park’s 40th anniversary and to open a nearly completed outdoor exhibit. (Photo: Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
201010-Atlanta- Some of the banners that make up the new exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park hang outside of the visitors center on Saturday, October 10, 2020, in Atlanta during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor the park’s 40th anniversary and to open a nearly completed outdoor exhibit. (Photo: Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, closed since mid-March, will celebrate its namesake’s upcoming birthday virtually — a sign of the times in the age of coronavirus.

Monday, the King Center, which has been the host of all of the major King Week activities, also announced a virtual celebration.

The park includes the house that King was born in, as well as the original Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Among Atlanta’s most-visited tourist attractions, both have been closed to visitors since the pandemic, which has killed nearly 400,000 Americans, started.

201010-Atlanta- Judy Forte, superintendent of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park in Atlanta, introduces Naomi King, who joined the King family when she married Martin’s brother, A.D. Williams King, (Photo: Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
201010-Atlanta- Judy Forte, superintendent of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park in Atlanta, introduces Naomi King, who joined the King family when she married Martin’s brother, A.D. Williams King, (Photo: Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

“It has been a challenging year,” said park Superintendent Judy Forte. “And the life and legacy of Dr. King is a source of inspiration now more than ever.”

Here is the schedule of events taking place at the park in the coming days for the celebration of what would have been King’s 92nd birthday. The schedule also can be accessed on its website:

  • On Friday, King’s actual birthday, the park will host a virtual birthday party celebration at 10 a.m. Local elementary schools will participate in the program and a member of the King Family will share family stories with the students. A storyteller will present a program to the students about King’s life.
  • On Sunday at 6 p.m., the park will host a virtual concert featuring performing artists who will celebrate King’s life and legacy in song. Register here for Zoom.
  • On Monday, the King Holiday, at 11 a.m., there will be a virtual tour of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice, as well as the inside King’s birth home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church. Register here for Zoom.
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