Arlington to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Dance-and-Song-Filled Tribute

Update: 01/17/2013 — keynote speaker change.

  • Dr. James Braxton Peterson to deliver keynote address
  • Christylez Bacon and Urban Artistry to perform
  • Volunteer fair to offer service opportunities

ARLINGTON, Va.Join us for an evening of stirring performances and moving tributes to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, January 20. Arlington County will host its 44th annual tribute to Dr. King from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium (1301 N. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22201).

Lehigh University Prof. of Africana Studies to deliver keynote

Dr. James Braxton Peterson , professor of Africana Studies at Lehigh University and a frequent participant in debates on CNN, Fox News, CBS News and other media outlets, has conducted broad research on Dr. King and his fight for civil rights and racial equality. Dr. Peters also is the founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, an association of Hip Hop generational scholars dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of Hip Hop, urban and youth cultures. His unique perspective and breadth of knowledge on politics, race relations and the cultural debates about the social implications of entertainers will be a highlight of our event.

Christylez Bacon and Urban Artistry Set to Blend Contemporary Style with MLK’s Historic Legacy

GRAMMY nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon will honor Dr. King with his innovative sound and unique storytelling style. Bacon, who has performed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the National Cathedral and other high-profile venues, offers a message of cultural acceptance and unification through music.

Urban Artistry, who performed at Arlington’s 2012 MLK event, returns for another inspiring dance tribute, set toa sampling of Dr. King’s best-known speeches. Urban Artistry, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is an international collective of artists and dancers focused on the authentic and complete representation of urban dance styles. In addition to event performances, Urban Artistry participates in classes, school programs, educational productions, mentorships, and more.

Volunteer Fair and “Arlington During the Civil Rights Era” Exhibit Focus on MLK’s Call to Service and Segregation/Integration

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., event attendees have the opportunity to learn more about volunteer opportunities in Arlington from featured area non-profits. Attendees also are invited to help assemble snack packs that will be given to local charities to support those in need. Those who visit and get a sticker from each non-profit booth will receive a prize when they stop by the Volunteer Arlington booth.

The “Arlington During the Civil Rights Era” exhibit will be on display throughout the evening. The exhibit will feature photos, news articles, and pages from school yearbooks that give a glimpse into what life was like in Arlington during the Civil Rights Era.

Arlington’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute event was created the year after Dr. King’s assassination to carry on his legacy. Details about the 2013 program are listed on the event webpage,

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.