Find out how to celebrate Dr. King's legacy of equality, justice, and compassion in San Francisco.

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January 13, 2022

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy in San Francisco

Every year, San Francisco commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The City by the Bay has its own storied Black history and culture, and you can experience it during the following events that offer visitors a chance to celebrate, reflect, and be inspired.

Thursday, Jan. 13

Toward Justice - The MLK Celebration of Freedom, Civil Rights, and Social Justice

2022 sees the inauguration of this new opening program, held live at San Francisco's Herbst Theatre. The evening will feature performers such as gospel luminary Lena Byrd Miles, Naté the Soulsanger, celebrated classical soprano Hope Briggs, REBEL, and Marcus Phillips & Top of the Marc, as well as spoken word artist Shawn William. You can also catch the event via a live stream from wherever you are. Click here for ticketing and more information.

Saturday, Jan. 15

King and Faith Symposium

This annual event, held at nearby Stanford University,  brings together scholars and the general public in interreligious discussions on themes of justice in varied religious traditions. For more information, click here.

MLK22 Liberation Film Screenings

The Liberation Film Screenings (LFF) will feature human interest and civil rights documentaries and dramatic readings. The screenings are free and open to the public with limited theater seating on a first-come, first-served, basis. For showtimes, locations, and more information, click here.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Black Comix Arts Festival Sunday Spotlight

The Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) celebrates African-Americans’ creativity in the comic arts and popular visual culture. BCAF is returning to in-person events with Sunday Spotlights at the San Francisco Public Library, with best-selling writers and comic artists. For more details, click here.

King and Faith Forum

At historic Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill, Clayborne Carson, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, will moderate an important discussion between scholars and thinkers reflecting on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and "where we go from here". For more details, click here.

Monday, Jan. 17

Black Comix Arts Festival Expo Showcase

The BCAF is proud to brig back its Expo Showcase at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. You'll find a number of featured artists, comics creators and activities, as well as film screenings, conversations, and workshops with artists and creators. For more details, click here.

MLK22 Celebration Program

This event includes an historic table talk with six African-American women with award-winning careers in local and national broadcasting: Barbara Rodgers (ret. CBS 5), Carolyn Tyler (ret. ABC7NEWS), Cheryl Hurd (NBC Bay Area), Dana King (ret. CBS 5), Kumasi Aaron (ABC7NEWS), Rosie Lee Allen (ret. KGO Radio/ABC7), and Hall of Fame San Francisco Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon. The program will also feature performances by Les Femmes Fatales and Miko Marks, and laughs from comedian Shea Suga. For more details, click here.

MLK Music Festival

The MLK22 Music Festival will feature Grammy Award winners Tony Lindsay, Les Femmes Fatales, and the artists of Hip Hop for Change. Hosts of the local hit show, "I Remember That Song!," will bring Yerba Buena Gardens to life, while emceeing the performances. Click here for more information. 

Virtual Programming from the Museum of the African Diaspora

Join any of these free, online programs offered by MoAD, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum in SoMa that celebrates the history and influence of the people of the African diaspora.

  • A discussion with authors Jetta Grace Martin and Waldo Martin about their book, "Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party."
  • A program with MoAD Docents, who will present pairings of art from publicly accessible archives and music of the American Civil Rights Era.
  • An art workshop for families with materials at home.

For more details, click here.

Oakland Museum of California

Across the bay, the Oakland Museum of California will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are invited to explore the Museum’s galleries of California art, history, and natural sciences, as well as the special exhibition, "Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism," on view through Feb. 27, 2022.


These ongoing, outdoor experiences in celebrating Black history are available to you at all times.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

San Francisco's memorial to Dr. King is the third largest such monument in the U.S. It includes photos from the Civil Rights movement and 12 panels inscribed with Dr. King’s words, including excerpts from his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the march on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.

African American Freedom Trail

The San Francisco African American Freedom Trail tells how local African-American pioneers changed the world. It's a great way to explore many of San Francisco's different neighborhoods on foot.

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