at the Museum of the City of New York
January 14 – 16
Presents Special Programming, Display, and Performances
Museum to Feature Gospel Choir, MLK Activism Family Program, and Display Showing How Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life Was Saved at Harlem Hospital
New York, NY (January 6, 2017): The Museum of the City of New York will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with performances by The New York City Gospel Choir, a family program dedicated to the activist legacy left behind by several civil rights heroes including the great man himself, and a display called Saving Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life in Harlem. Visitors will also have the chance to delve deeper into the city’s history and culture with New York at Its Core, the brand new, critically acclaimed, interactive exhibition that tells the story of the city like never before, and other world class exhibitions like Gay Gotham and Mastering the Metropolis.
On September 20, 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. visited Blumenstein’s department store in Harlem to promote Stride Toward Freedom, his newly published account of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott. As he autographed copies of the book, he was stabbed by a mentally ill woman. His life in danger, King was rushed to Harlem Hospital at Lenox Avenue and 136th Street. There, he underwent an operation performed by surgeons John Cordice Jr., Aubre Maynard, and Emil Naclerio. An x-ray revealed that the blade was resting against King’s aorta—the slightest jolt, even a sneeze, could have been fatal. Dr. King spoke of the incident in his last public speech in 1968, saying: “If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.”
Saving Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life in Harlem presents three photos and a painting, which together illuminate ways in which Harlem’s history is intertwined with that of the nation’s battle for civil rights. The display also shines a spotlight on Harlem Hospital, which paved the way for African-American doctors in New York.
“The Museum is proud to offer visitors a variety of educational ways to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York. “New York City’s story often intersects with America’s history, and civil rights is no exception. Whether it’s creating protest posters with the family, learning how Harlem Hospital moved our city forward, or simply enjoying the melodies of a gospel choir, we hope one and all will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the city’s past and contemplate its future during this holiday weekend.”
On Sunday, January 15, the Museum’s rotunda will be filled with the musical stylings of the The New York City Gospel Choir, who will mix gospel classics, Motown hits, and contemporary favorites to provide a musical exclamation point for the weekend. Performances will be every hour on the hour from noon until 4 p.m.
Then, on Monday January 16, the Museum invites families to participate in Activist New York Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a family program where children and parents will discover how New Yorkers have fought for freedom and equality over the past 350 years. After learning about the Civil Rights movement in our city, and activists such as Milton Galamison, Ella Baker, and Bayard Rustin, participants will create their own protest poster to inspire change for an issue of particular importance to them. This program takes place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in his honor, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Family programs are free with Museum admission and for members, geared to families with children ages 6-12 years old, and include a snack. Programs are designed for adults and children to complete the activities together.
About the Museum of the City of New York
Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. To connect with the Museum on social media, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @MuseumofCityNY and visit our Facebook page atFacebook.com/MuseumofCityNY. For more information please visit www.mcny.org.