Reading into History Family Book Club: We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March

Cynthia Levinson
Sun, 02/02/2014 - 15:00
Sun, February 2nd, 2014 | 3:00 pm

At a time when adults were fearful of heeding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s call to “fill the jails” of Birmingham, Alabama in protest of segregation and racial violence, the children of the city stepped in to do their part. Come to the wrap on February 2nd for a Skype discussion with author Cynthia Levinson, and celebrate young activists in the Civil Rights Movement and throughout history through our museum collections. Ages 9-12 and their adults.

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David Grover Sings Songs of Freedom

David Grover
Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:30
Sun, January 19th, 2014 | 12:30 pm

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, folk singer and children’s musician David Grover will entertain participants young and old in this concert celebrating diversity, freedom, and the Civil Rights movement. Please RSVP to Ages 4 and up

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African American Leaders Scavenger Hunt

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 10:00 to Mon, 01/20/2014 - 17:00
Sat, January 18th, 2014 | 10:00 am to Mon, January 20th, 2014 | 5:00 pm

January 18 – 20; Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Meet the inspiring and brave African American leaders who helped shape our nation and civil rights legislation. Families will search through New-York Historical's collections finding objects and documents related to James McCune Smith, Pierre Toussaint, Frederick Douglass and of course, Martin Luther King Jr. Ages 6 and up

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Macy's Sunday Story Time: Marching Toward Freedom

Sun, 08/25/2013 - 11:30
Sun, August 25th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by reading We March by Shane W. Evans and reflecting on what it means to gather and march together for civil rights.

We March by Shane W. Evans
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport

Support for the Macy's Sunday Story Hour provided by the Macy's Foundation.


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The King Years

Taylor Branch
Bob Herbert (moderator)
Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:30
Tue, February 26th, 2013 | 6:30 pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Harry Belafonte will no longer deliver opening remarks.



In 1955, on the first night of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an untested, 26-year-old Baptist pastor made an impromptu speech that catapulted him into the public consciousness as one of the faces of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation with author Tonya Bolden

Sat, 01/12/2013 - 13:00 to 14:00
Mon, January 21st, 2013 | 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of this essential part of American history with a special reading from Author Tonya Bolden! Hear Tonya, author of Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, read from her new children’s book Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty. Tonya will also be doing a Q&A, and signing copies of her book.

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The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara

January 18, 2013
May 05, 2013

Since the 1970s Camilo Vergara has been traveling across the United States photographing and thus documenting hand-painted murals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as they appeared on the walls of establishments such as car repair shops, barbershops, and fast food restaurants in city streets and alley ways. The folk art portraits have expressed how the inner-city residents saw the slain civil rights leader—at times a statesman, a hero, a visionary, or a martyr. Vergara also discovered that these images were often based on iconic photographs of Dr. King but that, depending upon the neighborhood where they were created, the portraits could take on the likeness of Latinos, Native Americans, or Asians.

Camilo José Vergara , Untitled, 2009, Frederick Douglass at West 154 th Street, Harlem, New York.  Digital c-print. Collection of the artist.

Vergara remarked about his work that “most murals and street portraits of Dr. King are ephemeral. Paint fades, businesses change hands and neighborhood demographics shift. Gradually, images reflecting the culture and values of poor communities are lost….Often, my photographs are the only lasting record of these public works of art.” This exhibition offers the opportunity to study the manner in which Martin Luther King, Jr. has reached into the hearts of artists from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Detroit, and how the artists’s images have depicted the soul of the great civil rights leader in a manner that reaches out to communities nation-wide.

Camilo Vergara will donate all of the works in The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara to the New-York Historical Society after the close of the exhibition. For more information on Camilo Vergara, visit his website.

Macy's Sunday Story Time: How Martin Changed the USA

Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:30
Sun, January 20th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4 - 7.

Each week New-York Historical Society educators read one to two engaging picture books around a theme. The themes are related to New York City, American history, current holidays, or new exhibitions.

What ideas did Martin Luther King, Jr. share with others that changed our country’s history? Everyone can be great and anyone can make the world a more loving place—big ideas that are alive today thanks to Dr. King.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport


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Freedom Now: Photographs by Platon

November 11, 2011
April 29, 2012

Note: This Exhibit will be closed April 21, 2012
The African-American struggle for civil rights is the subject of a series created by British photographer, Platon. Seen through a fresh perspective, Platon’s photographs sensitively capture the dreams, fears, disappointments and triumphs of a people who have striven for decades to overcome hardships and achieve equality in our society. Works in the exhibition include photographs of the Little Rock Nine, Dr. King’s Birmingham prison cell, Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Muhammad Ali, and Joseph McNeil and Franklin E. McCain, who were among the students who participated at the famous sit-in for civil rights at the Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960. (Many of these images appeared in The New Yorker issue of February 15–22, 2010.)

Platon, John Lewis, January 2010. Light jet print. Courtesy of the artist

Platon was born in London in 1968. Raised in Greece until age seven, he moved back to London and eventually attended St. Martin’s School of Art where he received his B.A. with honors in Graphic Design. Platon received his M.A. in Photography from the Royal College of Art. In 1992 he won British Vogue’s “Best up-and-coming- Photographer” award. Platon moved to New York City in 1998 where he worked for George magazine. His photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone, the New York Times magazine, Newsweek, and The Sunday Times and his work has been shown worldwide including in New York City, London, Milan, Tokyo and Paris.


This project is supported by a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

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