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Photos: Brookline celebrates MLK Day

January 16, 2024
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  • The Town of Brookline MLK Celebration took place at the Coolidge Corner Theater on Monday, Jan. 15 2024. Photo by Zoe Zekos

The town of Brookline put on an event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, on what would have been the civil rights leader’s 95th birthday.

Select Board chair Bernard Greene, one of the lead organizers of the event, opened the day with a remembrance of Chobee Hoy, a prominent Brookline philanthropist and activist who died on Saturday at the age of 91.

“She was, as King wanted to be remembered himself, a true drum major for peace, drum major for justice, and drum major for righteousness,” Greene said.

Jennifer Barber, Brookline’s poet laureate, read the poem “Praise Song for the Day” by Elizabeth Alexander.

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Next, the event’s organizers screened King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech from December 1964.

“I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice,” King told the audience in Oslo 60 years ago.

Margarita Guillory, an assistant professor of religion at Boston University, gave a talk about King’s speaking and teaching style, noting his use of “rhythmic repetition” and his penchant for asking “profound existential questions that he sought to answer through a theological lens.”

To close the event, poet and songwriter Regie Gibson performed along with the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, blending spoken word stories with music.

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