Top 10 Things to Do for MLK Jr. 50th, Announced by Fathom

by April 2, 2018 0 comments

Events not to miss for this historical event

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April 4th marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, in Memphis, Tennessee. The culture and travel experts at Fathom, popular for providing an insider’s viewpoint on cities around the world, have announced the top ten things to do and see to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., and move the civil rights conversation forward.

Events begin this week and run through June around the theme “Where Do We Go From Here?” It is turning Memphis into an inspiration hub for people who want to make a difference. Jeralyn Gerba, Fathom’s Co-Founder and Editorial Director said, “Our editors selected Memphis as one of our top travel destinations of the year. There’s a palpable energy of expression in the air, and this spring will be an exciting time to experience history and MLK Jr.’s legacy as well as get involved with meaningful matters.”

According to Fathom’s Editor-in-Chief, Pavia Rosati, here are the most inspired ways to join the civic movement, along with places to stay and eat while you’re in Memphis.


Top Ten Things to Do & See for MLK Jr. 50
Listed in chronological date order


  1. 4/2-4/3: Where Do We Go From Here

The two-day symposium will feature scholars and practitioners of law leading legal discussions about prescient issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights, persistent poverty, and 21st-century activism.

  1. 4/2: MLK50 Symposium Day 1
    Knowing your rights is important, so the first day of the two-day symposium has a distinctly legal focus. A panel of educated legal scholars (Mark Osler, Roy Austin, Tracey Maclin, Dayna Matthew, and Dorothy Brown, to name a few) will precede a ticketed luncheon at The Peabody hosted by former U.S. Attorney General, The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr. The event is designed to educate the community on social justice platforms outlined by MLK.
  2. 4/3:IRIS Orchestra MLK50 Program“It’s Up to Us” and Film Series at Clayborn Temple
    Mixing art and politics, IRIS artist fellows will host a program around the words “It’s Up to Us.” Dr. Harold Middlebrook (who had a personal relationship with MLK) will comment on civil liberties, poetry will be shared, and a chorus and string chamber ensemble will perform. The art-oriented program aims to reach underserved areas of the community — mainly youths, senior citizens, and communities of color.
  3. 4/4:The Largest Reenactment of theIconic “I AM A MAN” Photograph on Beale Street
    The Withers Collection Museum and Gallery is commemorating the legacy of MLK by walking in his footsteps on the day he died. The community march aims to recapture the photo of the Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968, which will be taken from a helicopter by Mrs. Eboni Bullard, the granddaughter of Dr. Withers, and will be on show at the gallery thereafter.
  4. 4/4:Service of Remembrance andReconciliation for MLK at Lorraine Motel
    Acknowledging the past in order to move forward with racial reconciliation, Lorraine Motel is hosting a service to remember the people who were enslaved and sold at the antebellum slave mart. Rhodes College students and local scholars wrote a text for a historic marker that will be unveiled at the end of the service.
  5. 4/4-4/6: Civil Rides, a Three-Day CyclingTrek from Memphis to Jackson
    The three-day trek, beginning at the steps of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and finishing in Jackson, Mississippi, follows the footsteps of MLK and brings attention to persistent rural poverty and the promotion of racial justice.


  1. 5/2:Toward Justice: A City-WideUpstanders’ Project
    A month-long project involving art, exhibits, speeches, and prayers curated by a group of Memphis leaders. All events within the project are free and open to the public and work to bring attention to the vast range of religious, artistic, and racial communities in Memphis.
  2. 5/19: Mallory Heights Community ClubMLK50 Walk/Run-a-Thon
    A simple act to empower the community, designed to promote justice and peace.
  3. 5/20-8/31: Hotel History Tours with thePeabody Duck Master
    Consider this a break from politics. A one-hour walking tour of The Peabody led by the Peabody Duckmaster will include stories from the hotel’s long history and details about the lives of the infamous Peabody ducks.


  1. 6/6: Gallery Talk: Black Resistancewith Charlie Newman
    June swings in with more focus on civil rights and racial issues in the United States. The gallery talk with Charlie Newman (one of MLK’s attorneys) delves into his experiences at the time, which are reflected through photos in the gallery exhibition.
  2. 6/27: Munch and Learn: Stax Music andthe Civil Rights Movement
    The Soulsville Foundation aims to persevere and promote the cultural richness of the neighborhood, as well as facilitate community-building opportunities for the people living there. In this spirit, communications director Tim Sampson talks about the relevance of music to the Civil Rights Movement.



  • Madison Hotel -The Memphis vibe is brought to life with the Madison Hotel’s cool urban designs and high-end sophistication. This is an ideal hotel for travelers who care about immersing themselves in modern luxury, unparalleled services and a hint of rock-star attitude.
  • Peabody – In the heart of Memphis, sits the Peabody hotel. It bridges between the celebrated past of “blues city” and the current cosmopolitan city. It’s historic, one-of-a-kind experience is blocks from Beale Street, the Memphis Rock ‘n Soul Museum, the Gibson Guitar Factory, and the Orpheum Theatre.



  • Arcade – The Arcade has the honor of being Memphis’ oldest restaurant, and their sweet potato pancakes should not be missed. Speros Zepatos founded the diner in 1919 after immigrating from Cephalonia, Greece. Situated at the corner of South Main Street and G.E. Patterson, the original building was a small, one story, wood framed building. Food was cooked on potbelly stoves! In 1925, Speros tore down the wood structure and built the Arcade Building in a Greek revival style, complete with retail stores to signify the “Arcade” name. (
  • Café Eclectic – In the heart of the Volentine-Evergreen district, one block from the Memphis Zoo, this cafe boasts a large coffee bar, an old fashioned soda fountain, private gallery dining room and a sunny patio. Affectionately referred to as “Big,” Midtown Eclectic offers a vast menu, including local favorites such as the Marlimu Farms hamburger on a house made egg bun, hand-cut fries and a chicken-n-waffle. Breakfast is served all day, laid back like it should be and vegetarian specials are in constant rotation. (




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