Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Exploring Martin Luther King’s Connection to New York City

The Museum of the City of New York commemorates the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with an extraordinary photo collection of his activism in New York City.

Museum of the City of New York

When it comes to Martin Luther King Jr’s activism during the Civil Rights movement, it would be fair to assume that the majority of his work was concentrated in the south or Washington D.C. After all, D.C. was where he delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech during the March on Washington. The south was not only home to cruelest racial injustice, but also where the historical Montgomery bus boycott took place. Although Martin Luther King Jr. broke many boundaries in the south, he also left a significant impact on New York City.

Through a well curated exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, it’s clear that his activism spanned across NYC when he spoke at the United Nations and at the Freedomways reception after the Du Bois Centennial Tribute at Carnegie Hall.

He also addressed journalists at Gracie mansion, delivered the “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church, and met with several activists at Hotel Commodore to plan the March on Washington. These moments are amongst a few historical snapshots on display of King’s activism in the city. Several more can be viewed as part of a curated collection commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death. This exhibit, King in New York is currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York through June 1, 2018.