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Brookline Office Of Diversity, Inclusion And Community Relations Invites Community To Event Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Brookline MLK Celebration Committee and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations (ODICR) invites the community to the “Conflicting Voices of Liberty and Slavery (1765-1795)” event in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The event will take place on Monday, January 16, 2022, starting at 03:00 p.m., at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446.

This year’s program promises a moving celebration of the life and values of Dr. King with words, poetry and music to challenge and inspire. The event will feature:

  • Keynote speaker and Pulitzer-prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson, author of American Inheritance, Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation 1765-1795, which reveals how the twin strands of liberty and slavery were joined in the nation’s founding. Was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery? Was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? Professor Larson brings to light the voices of unsung people of color, including those from Massachusetts, who spoke the truth to the powerful. What was debated and written in 1765 through 1795 became the paradox between American ideals and American realities that Dr. King and all of us struggle with to this day.
  • Poet, educator and performance artist Regie Gibson returns to the Coolidge stage to provide his unique and thought-provoking verses. His supersonic delivery will have attendees sitting on the edge of their seats.
  • Joyful Voices of Inspiration brings the uplifting messages of black gospel music to the celebration. Led by energetic Music Director Donnell Patterson, Joyful Voices is the premiere gospel choir in Metro Boston.
  • Brookline Poet Laureate Jennifer Barber reads a selected poem chosen to complement the celebration.

Tickets are free, but interested residents should register in advance at Coolidge.org/MLK.

Coolidge Corner Theatre is accessible and ASL interpretation services will be provided.

For reasonable accommodations or language access, please contact Caitlin Starr, Assistant Director of ODICR, at 617-730-2345 or cstarr@brooklinema.gov.

The MLK Celebration Committee and ODICR wish to thank the following organizations:

  • Brookline Community Foundation for providing financial support;
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre for donating the use of the main theater and for staff support;
  • Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) for video recording services;
  • Brookline BookSmith for arranging advance copies of Larson’s book to be available in the lobby;
  • Margaret Talcott of the American Inspiration Author Series at the New England Historic Genealogical Society for connecting us with Professor Larson.

For more information about this event, please contact Rob Daves at 617-285-1113 or robdaves@rcn.com.