Will Smith, Naturi Naughton, J. Cole attend MLK Day festivities

Will Smith attends the European premiere of Netflix Film ‘BRIGHT’ (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Many A-list celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and music understand the monumental importance of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

Hollywood heavyweight Will Smith took his son, Jaden, and his mother to MLK’s birthday celebration in Atlanta over the weekend. King would have been 91 years old today.

Meanwhile, the likes of rapper J. Cole, “Power” star Naturi Naughton, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NFL star Marshawn Lynch, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and New York Times “1619 Project” creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, are headed to the historic Riverside Church in Harlem, New York for a celebration between 2 and 6 p.m.

Riverside Church is the place where Dr. King gave his memorable and historic speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” on April 4, 1967. King bitterly condemned then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and the escalating Vietnam War that took away needed money for economic justice and anti-poverty efforts.

King was assassinated exactly one year after that speech, on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tickets for the Riverside Church event are free and open to the public.

Terry Shropshire
Terry Shropshire

A military veteran and Buckeye State native, I've written for the likes of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Detroit Free Press. I'm a lover of words, photography, books, travel, animals and The Ohio State Buckeyes. #GoBucks

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