Martin Luther King, Jr. Day–observed this year on Jan. 21–isn't just an extra holiday off of work and school.
Groups all across the U.S. use the civil rights pioneer's holiday, proposed by Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr. in 1968 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, as a day to pay tribute, educate, give back and reflect on the things MLK stood for in his lifetime.
Here's a look at some of the events going on in and around the Farmington area on Monday:
'50 Years Later, The Dream Lives On'
The Multicultural Multiracial Community Council's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event begins at 9 a.m. with a walk from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on 12 Mile Road to the Farmington Community Library Main Library.
The event notes the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech with a program runs from 10:15 a.m. through the afternoon and includes re-enactor Rudy Barker delivering Dr. King's speech. There will also be a poetry reading, stories music and a performance by the Harrison High School dance company.
In keeping with the theme of community service, the American Red Cross bloodmobile will be in the library parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and everyone is invited to make valentines for senior citizens in conference room A. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view African American artwork from the Arts League of Michigan, on display through February. Read more: .
‘Remembering our Past, Creating a Better Future’
Novi Public Library - 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Monday
For the first time, the Novi Public Library will be open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Novi Public Library is partnering with Novi Community Schools for this new second event. It will include programs honoring Martin Luther King and highlighting the trials and triumphs of black history.
The day will start at 1 p.m., with youth programs for children in fourth grade and under. Participants can enjoy interactive stories, crafts, and puzzles.
From 4 p.m.-8 p.m., the library will be featuring the Saffold Collection, a black history mobile museum. This exhibit will feature memorabilia that spans from the time of slavery to the Hip Hop age to our 1st African American president, with original documents and artifacts.
The day will conclude with a 7 p.m. panel discussion for ages 7th grade and older, focusing on how to integrate Dr. King’s vision and words into the community.
With Liberty and Justice For All Symposium
The Henry Ford Museum will host its annual tribute to Dr. King from 10-11:30 a.m. Jan. 21, including a discussion of civil rights and free admission to the museum all day.
This year will include remarks by Daniel Krichbaum, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, as well as a keynote speech and discussion panel with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author Leonard Pitts Jr.
Copies of Leonard Pitts' book Freeman will be available for purchase after the symposium, and the author will be available to sign your copy.
Books & Bookmarks
The Detroit Institute of Arts, normally closed on Mondays, will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan 21, with certain special exhibits open for viewing. This is also the last day audiences can visit Fabergé: The Rise and Fall.
Also, kids can make handmade books and bookmarks at a drop-in MLK Day workshop from 12-4 p.m.