3 minute read

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The 42nd annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is this weekend, Sunday, January 16th and then the holiday, Monday, January 17.

Sunday’s events will be services at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church and at Temple B’Nai Israel Synagogue which have been traditions for the Sunday before the holiday.

Monday will feature a breakfast, job fair, the Silent March on NE 23rd Street to the History Center for the National Bell Ringing, the program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, and the parade.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Resilient and Relentless.”

A news release by the organizers, The Oklahoma City Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Coalition, pointed to the significance of the event:

“This has always been a historic time to bring the community together, people young and old, from all walks of life and backgrounds to express and display what his dream has meant to us as people and how we can make it a reality daily in our families, communities, and places of work. We are proud that these events are inclusive of all races, creeds, and religions.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The Silent March arrives at the Oklahoma History Center in 2020 for the National Bell Ringing. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Schedule for both days

Sunday, January 16th 

3:00 PM:  The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Program, at St John Baptist Church, 5700 N. Kelley, OKC

6:00 PM: “One Mic, One Voice” Program, at Temple B’nai Israel, 4901 N Penn, OKC

Monday, January 17th 

7:00 AM:  Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Program, at the MWC Reed Center 

9:00 AM:  Annual Job Fair 9 am to 1 pm, Douglass HS, 900 N. MLK, OKC

9:00 AM:  Opening Program, at the Freedom Center, 2500 N. MLK Blvd. OKC

9:45 AM:  Silent March, starting at the Freedom Center, ending at the Oklahoma History Center

10:45 AM:  National Bell Ringing ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center

12:15 PM:  The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Program, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 127 NW 7th, OKC. The speaker will be Rev. Michael McDaniel of the Northeast Missionary Baptist Church.

2:00 PM:  MLK Holiday Parade, starting at NW 6th and Walker, ending at W. Reno and Walker


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Members of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the NAACP march in the 2020 parade. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Whole community invited

“All the Oklahoma City Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events are FREE to attend and are family-friendly events,” said William Jones with the Coalition.

Honorary Parade Marshals include OKC Sit-Inners and Minute Men. Those two groups of people were teenagers and even pre-teens who actively participated in the sit-ins carried out throughout Oklahoma City in the 1950s and 1960s to protest and challenge legal segregation in Oklahoma and Oklahoma City.

The Holiday Coalition thanks all volunteers who help each year to make the celebration the success it is each year.

It’s not too late to call and volunteer to help: For more information, please visit  www.okcmlkcoalition.org or contact William Jones (405)306-8440 or Diana Johnson at (405) 255-6201.

Millwood Marching Falcons
The Millwood Marching Falcons step off for their part in the 2020 parade. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)


Last Updated January 12, 2022, 10:09 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor