Brian Jacobson

Milwaukee celebrates MLK Jr. birthday with a gala show

By - Jan 17th, 2011 08:22 am

The MLK Jr. celebration gets a rousing start-up. All photos by Brian Jacobson and TCD photo interns Nickolas Nikolic and Nicole Peaslee.

While the National Day of Service is honored on Monday, the city of Milwaukee has a long-standing tradition of celebrating the birth of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday with a showcase of diverse talent and song, along with inspired speeches — including from area schoolchildren.

This year’s event at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Uihlein Hall was themed “The World: A Neighborhood, A Brotherhood” and featured numbers by We Are the Drum, Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi nation drum groups, Milwaukee Chinese Youth Orchestra, African American Children’s Theater Choir, Latino Arts Mariachi Juvenil, MYSO Calypso, Islamic Center Dance Group, and more.

Dorian Jones inspires the audience at the MLK celebration in Milwaukee.

Featured speakers this day included local politicians like Mayor Tom Barrett, Interim County Executive Lee Holloway, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and some truly inspiring words from young people like Dorian Jones, Madison Eggert, Kellen Sharp, and Ngozi Musa.

The packed venue also witnessed the unveiling of a new Negro Leagues postal stamp. The audience joined in after the national anthem in singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (also known as the Black National Anthem), and found a reception waiting for them in the Bradley Pavilion featuring winning artwork sponsored in a contest from MPS, The American Cancer Society, the Marcus Center and the McDonald’s Corporation.

TCD was there, with Photo Editor Brian Jacobson and interns Nickolas Nikolic and Nicole Peaslee capturing the day in images.  You can click the link here for fullscreen, or peruse the slideshow below.

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