2020 MLK Weekend Guide (South Fulton and North Clayton Counties)

All Things MLK This Weekend in Fulton and Clayton Counties...and Beyond!

By Kristen Wright-Matthews, Editor & Publisher, Macaroni Kid College Park - East Point - Morrow January 17, 2020

Included in this guide: 

MLK Day of Service Opportunities

Special MLK Admission Prices

MLK Day Commemorative Events

MLK Day Parades, Marches and Rallies

“Ways to Celebrate” MLK Day 

Family-Friendly Movies to Watch on MLK Day

MLK Day Activities for Kids

MLK Book Titles

Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Most of us get MLK Day off from school and/or work, but we should make this MLK Day, and every one thereafter A DAY ON! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked tirelessly in service for all, so let's keep his legacy alive by doing something for the greater good. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” He devoted his life to equality, social justice, economic advancement, and opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be. We owe it to him and to ourselves to keep fighting to make a difference so that we and future generations.

Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed and is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community." We have compiled this guide in hopes that we can encourage each and every one of you, if you're not observing the day already, to do something to honor the memory of this great leader who did much of his work right here in his hometown of Atlanta. King grew up in the Auburn Avenue community until he was 12, and stayed in Atlanta until he graduated from Morehouse College.

MLK Day of Service Opportunities

The MLK Day of Service shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides – today and throughout the year. Many communities will also engage in dialogue to explore ways they can address important issues. National Days of Service provide us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation.

Check out the national MLK Day of Service website for service project opportunities in our community.  

There are many ways you can participate in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. You can: 

Hands On Atlanta will help local schools and organizations celebrate and continue King’s legacy through service. They have a diverse range of projects to participate in this year, including school and park beautification, meal kit packing and working in homeless shelters, putting together literacy and calming kits, planting trees and spending time with seniors.

Special MLK Admission Prices


Enjoy free admission to the Atlanta History Center and Atlanta History Center Midtown in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Featuring special programming highlighting the contributions and stories of African-Americans in Atlanta, Atlanta History Center guests enjoy immersive museum theatre performances and inspiring activities for all ages.

Atlanta History Center

130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW

Atlanta, GA 30305

Fee Free Day at National Parks for MLK Day - Jan. 20 - ALL DAY

Enjoy free entrance day at National Parks in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Some local sites include Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

We Shall Overcome: Free MLK Day Tours

Jan. 20 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

248 Oakland Ave. SE

Atlanta, GA 30312

This MLK Day, visit historic Oakland Cemetery for an offering of our tour, “We Shall Overcome: African American Stories from Civil War to Civil Rights.”

“We Shall Overcome” became the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, but the origin of the song dates back to antebellum days and a spiritual sung by enslaved people, “No More Auction Block for Me.” This tour explores the lives and accomplishments of outstanding, and ordinary, African Americans who fought to overcome the effects of slavery and discrimination to help shape the history of Atlanta.

This tour is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited. Reserve your spot now!

The tour will start at the Visitors Center & Museum Shop located at the Bell Tower. Please arrive 10-15 minutes in advance of the scheduled start time. Please note that not all areas of Historic Oakland Cemetery are wheelchair accessible. Please use your discretion when planning your tour visit. 

MLK Day Commemorative Events


Click to view The King Center Holiday Observance Week Schedule (January 9-20th, 2020) 

10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service

Ebenezer Baptist Church- Horizon Sanctuary

Free and Open to the Public - Limited Seating Keynote Speaker: Rev. Dr. Howard-John WesleySenior Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church

Tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Ms. Irshad Manji, Advocate & Founder, The Moral Courage Project
Mr. Jamil Smith, Print & Television Journalist, Senior Writer, Rolling Stone Magazine

Mr. Jake Evans, Republican National Lawyer Association

Special Musical Performances:
The Anointed Pace Sisters, Gospel Recording Artist Ms. Angelica Hale, America’s Got Talent StarMinister Angella Christie, Gospel Saxophonist
The Grapevine Children & Youth Choir
Members of the Atlanta Consular Corps

International Greetings:
The Honorable Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel of the Southeast

For more information contact:

Barbara Harrison
(404) 526-8961

Beloved Community Talks: Let’s Bridge The Racial Divide 

Jan. 21 - 6:00 PM

The Yolanda D. King Theatre For The Performing Arts The King Center 

FREE & Open to the Public 

“I am convinced that men hate each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.” 

- MLK address to Cornell College 1962 

In keeping with Dr. King’s assertion that people are divided because they are disconnected, The King Center launched, via the Beloved Community Talks (BCT) platform, its Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide campaign on the 2017 King Holiday Observance.

The King Center will continue the campaign on the 2019 King Holiday and throughout the year. Our goal

is to provide the roadmap and tools necessary for individuals and communities to have the challenging and courageous conversations to bridge the racial divide in America by addressing the pains and unrest of racism rooted in a historical context. 

Beloved Community Talks: Let’s Bridge The Racial Divide 

The King Holiday Beloved Community Talks are comprised of three back-to-back conversational vignettes: 

Bridging the Racial Divide: A Look at the NFL – Community Engagement and Social Responsibility with Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center; Brett Daniels, COO, Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (invited); and Former NFL Player Chris Draft 

Bridging the Racial Divide: Your Influence and Your Voice with Brittany Packnett, activist, educator and writer; Attorney Jake Evans, Atlanta Young Republicans; Nick Dresselly Thomas, advocate for Hosteling International; Janelle Jones, Deputy State Director, Georgia GOP 

Beyond the Racial Divide: A Journey to Reconciliation with former White Supremacist and neo-Nazi Michael Kent and probation officer Tiffany Whittier 

Moderator: Actor, Terrence Jenkins (Terrence J) 

Seating is limited. Reserve your seat today at 

We cordially invite you, your organization, corporation, company, church, mosque, temple, school or non-profit to participate in our 50 Acts of Service or Kindness Campaign. Last year, represented the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination and the founding of The King Center. There were many events held nationwide to recognize this historic occasion. In 2019, we’ll embark on a journey for the next 50 years with a commitment to move forward and with perseverance rooted in the ideals of Dr. King’s philosophy and methodology of nonviolence (NV365®). 

The Meaning of Hope: The Best of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection

Jan. 19 - 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard

Atlanta, GA 30313

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Morehouse College, and the Atlanta University Center library invite you to a welcoming reception and public program. We welcome the newest collection of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Voice to the Voiceless Collection– The Meaning of Hope: The Best of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. After viewing the newest collection, guests will hear from Morehouse College President, Dr. David Thomas, and other civic leaders as they speak about Dr. King’s leadership in civic engagement, civil and human rights, and moral leadership.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, 449 Auburn Ave. in Atlanta, will host the Dream Forward Awards and kickoff reception Jan. 15, Students with King events Jan. 15 and 16, a children’s book event Jan. 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by three events Jan. 21: a 50 Acts of Kindness service project, a commemorative service and the Beloved Community talks. All events are free.

The center’s Salute to Greatness Awards event is scheduled for Jan 19 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 265 Peachtree St. in downtown Atlanta. Tickets start at $250.

Celebrate the King at National Center for Civil and Human Rights with activities for the whole family

MLK Community Camp

Fulton /Clayton County Events 

East Point - MLK Day of Service

City of South Fulton Inaugural MLK Day Parade and Census Rally

College Park - Martin Luther King Jr. Afterschool Crafts

Forest Park - 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration

MLK Day at Metro Fun Center

We Share the Dream: King's Beloved Community Launch & Reception

MLK Day Parades, Marches and Rallies

Immediately Following Commemorative Service Monday, January 20, 2020
King Week Holiday March & Rally

Free- Open to the Public

The March is held on Auburn Avenue from Peachtree Street to Jackson Street. The Rally is held on Auburn Avenue. The areas of concern are education, technology, medical, investment, transportation, housing, environmental justice, job creation, conflict resolution, interfaith, cultural exchange, peace, justice and voter registration.

City of South Fulton Inaugural MLK Day Parade and Census Rally

Forest Park - 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration

“Ways to Celebrate” MLK Day 

  1. Spend some time walking the streets of MLK’s beloved community. 
  2. Visit the MLK Historic Site at the Martin Luther King Historic Site. Kids can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the front desk to help guide them through the museum. They also have trading cards! 
  3. If you want to visit the King Center or MLK birth home, get there early! Tickets to see Dr. King ‘s home are free, but on a first-come, first-served basis.
  4. Take a self-guided tour of Ebenezer Baptist Church. It is open on Sundays for services. 
  5. Near the National Historic Site is the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, the oldest public market in Atlanta. Inside you’ll find Southern cuisine like Sweet Auburn BBQ, Grindhouse Burger, and a host of specialty treats from around the world.
  6. Take a FREE walking tour at Oakland Cemetery and learn about some of Atlanta's rich history. 
  7. Experience the National Center for Civil and Human Rights: This is the best civil rights museum of its kind. See how long can you sit at the lunch counter with people jeering in your ear, or stand on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. MLK Weekend is a perfect time to visit this museum. You’ll leave understanding why it is so important to dedicate a Civil Rights day.
  8. Take your Preschooler to the Children’s Museum: The Children’s Museum of Atlanta has special programming for kids with an MLK birthday bash on MLK day.
  9. Drummers line the course of the MLK Day 5K Drum Run, which is preceded by music and dancing and followed by a party at Piedmont Park.

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Monday, January 20, 2020
2-Hour Introduction to Nonviolence365® (NV365®)

Free- Open to the Public Registration Required

Spelman College

The Promise Center

The two-hour sneak preview orientation engages participants in an introduction to Dr. King’s readings, teachings, philosophy and methodology, Nonviolence365®, as a vehicle for nonviolent social change. Community organizers, educators, activists and concerned citizens are all invited to attend.

6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Monday, January 20, 2020
Beloved Community Talks

The King Center, The Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts

Free - Open to the Public Registration Required

Conversation One: Understanding Systemic Racism and Intersectionality

Conversation Two: A Decade of Change and Disruption
Conversation Two is designed to provide a foundation and action items for attendees and viewers to be empowered to facilitate change and disruption within their own communities, as they seek to address systemic racism or dismantle institutions of racism in the coming decade and beyond.

Family-Friendly Movies to Watch on MLK Day

MLK Day Activities for Kids


Carrots are Orange Blog

Creative Child

Tip Junkie

MLK Book Titles

My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart

by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Angela tells of the joys of growing up with Dr. King as her uncle. She shares intimate moments and some of her favorite childhood memories. This book provides little readers with a more personal picture of Dr. King as an activist and world leader.

(Ages 5 - 7)

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs

by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, explores six principles that encompass one of Dr. King’s greatest legacies: love. Little readers learn the six core principles that provided the framework for Dr. King's non-violence movement. Each principle is explained and examples of how Dr. King used the principles are also provided.

(Ages 6 - 11)

A Is for Activist

by Innosanto Nagara

A Is for Activist uses the alphabet to introduce children to concepts like activism, democracy, justice, human rights, protests, and freedom. Although some of the vocabulary may be a little advanced for the smallest readers, this book does a good job of making connections to things that kids are familiar with.

(Ages 3 - 7)

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

A beautiful and lyrical poetry book geared toward middle grade readers. The story details the months leading up to Dr. King's assassination and highlights his involvement with the Memphis sanitation workers' strike.

(Ages 8 – 12)

Let the Children March

by Monica Clark-Robinson, illustrated by Frank Morrison

Accompanied by amazing illustrations and powerful prose, this book tells the story of the Birmingham Children's Crusade of 1963. Little readers will be inspired to see children just like them helping to make a difference in the world.

(Ages 6 - 9)

When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates

by Mark Weakland, illustrated by Patrick Ballesteros

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in a 12-room house in Atlanta, Georgia with his family. As a kid, he loved to roller skate and ride bicycles with his friends. He also learned very early on that violence was not the answer to getting things resolved. Martin believed in always doing the right thing and standing up for yourself against bullies. These traits and others helped him become one of the most well-known civil rights leaders in the United States.

(Ages 6 - 12)

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