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Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. in Washtenaw County

Here's a look at some events going on around the county today for Martin Luther King Day.

As the nation prepares to honor Martin Luther King Jr., here's a look at some events going on around the Dexter area today.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. symposium

  • Annual University of Michigan MLK Symposium in Ann Arbor includes a book signing by activist Angela Davis, 2-4 p.m. in the Rogell Ballroom, 530 S. State; Clarence B. Jones, adviser and speechwriter for King, at 6 p.m. at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Blau Auditorium, 701 Tappan; Black History 101: Mobile Museum, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at 530 S. State. For other events, go to www.mlksymposium.umich.edu.

MLK Day Celebration - American Roots Music

  • Rev. Robert Jones, singer, storyteller, and instrumentalist, will educate and entertain families in an afternoon of roots music with a focus on African-American music. Jones will explore not only the beginning of popular music styles such as gospel, blues, R&B, country and rap, but the impact that these styles have made in terms of the Civil Rights Movement and social change. The event takes place at 1:30 p.m. today at the Ypsilanti District Library, 229 W. Michigan Ave.

Martin Luther King Day Celebration

  • Join the Ypsilanti District Library at 5:30 p.m. today for crafts. At 6:30 p.m., the “You Can’t Stop Me Project” students will perform inspirational and self-empowerment songs. Following that performance, a screening of a documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place.

Searching for Jordan Anderson: A Personal Journey Into Race And Slavery In America

  • Roy Finkenbine, professor of History at Detroit Mercy College, will outline his research on the fascinating life of African-American Jordan Anderson and the history of the famous letter he wrote to his owner in the Confederate States of America following the end of the U.S. Civil War. The presentation will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.

Chelsea Equality Proclamation

  • A nearly year-old anti-discrimination proclamation signed by city and community leaders in Chelsea will be the focus of a re-affirmation ceremony Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Supporters plan to re-affirm the proclamation Monday at 7 p.m. in the council meeting room at the new Chelsea Police Department building at 311 S. Main St. The room will open at 6:30 p.m. for residents to sign a copy of the proclamation, which supporters plan to frame and present to the city.

Five ways King is tied to Michigan:

1. Original Dream Speech - King first delievered the "I have a Dream" speech to a crowd of 150,000 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, two months before the famous rendention in during the March on Washington in 1963.

2. Historical Recording - The original version of the "Dream" speech was recorded by Gordy Records, a subsidiary of Motown Records in Detroit.

3. Rosa Parks Bus - When she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a public bus in 1955, Rosa Parks, a tired black seamstress, sparked the civil rights movement that King led. That bus remains one of the most visited exhibits in Dearborn's Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

4. Visit to Grosse Pointe - In 1968, King gave a speech to a crowd of 2,700 at what is now Grosse Pointe South High School, according to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. He was assasinated three weeks later.

5. MLK Symposium - Monday will mark the 27th annual MLK symposium at the University of Michigan. Each year the university focuses on a topic related to King in an effort to "remember the work and legacy of Dr. King." This year's theme is 50 Years Later (R) Evolution of the Dream.

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