Brookline Celebrates MLK Day


All available seats for this event have been claimed. A rush line will be held on the day of the show. After the program begins, empty seats will be filled from that line on a first come, first served basis. Entry from the rush line is not guaranteed. 

Additionally, the event is being recorded and will be available to all for free within one or two days on Brookline Interactive Group’s (BIG) webpage:

This year’s program promises a stirring celebration of the life and values of Dr. King with words, poetry and music to challenge and inspire.

  • Our keynote speaker, Pulitzer-prize winning historian Edward J. Larson, author of American Inheritance, Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation 1765-1795,* reveals how the twin strands of liberty and slavery were joined in the nation’s founding. Was the American revolution waged to preserve slavery? Was the Constitution a pact with slavery or a landmark in the antislavery movement? Professor Larson brings to light the voices of unsung people of color, including those from Massachusetts, who spoke truth to the powerful. What was debated and written in 1765 through 1795 became the paradox between American ideals and American realties that Dr. King and all of us struggle with to this day.
  • Poet, educator and performance artist Regie Gibson returns to the Coolidge stage to provide his unique and thought-provoking verses. His supersonic delivery will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
  • Joyful Voices of Inspiration brings the uplifting messages of black gospel music to the celebration. Led by energetic Music Director Donelle Patterson, Joyful Voices is the premiere gospel choir in Metro Boston.
  • Brookline Poet Laureate Jennifer Barber reads a selected poem chosen to complement the celebration. 
  • And more….

FREE, but tickets are required in advance.

Although this book is not scheduled for release until January 17, Brookline BookSmith has arranged with the publisher to obtain advance copies for purchase in the theatre lobby.


Coolidge Corner Theatre is accessible. ASL interpretation services will be provided. For reasonable accommodations, please contact Caitlin Starr, Assistant Director of the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations, at 617-730-2345 or

Presented by

Town of Brookline MLK Celebration Committee

Co-sponsored by

Town of Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations

Brookline Community Foundation

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Brookline Interactive Group

Brookline BookSmith

We are especially grateful to:

  • Brookline Community Foundation for providing financial support
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre for donating the use of the main theater and for staff support
  • BIG, Brookline Interactive Group, for video recording services
  • Brookline BookSmith for arranging advance copies of Ed Larson’s book
  • Margaret Talcott of the American Inspiration Author Series at the New England Historic Genealogical Society for connecting us with Professor Larson

For more information about this event, please contact Rob Daves at

617-285-1113 or

MLK Celebration Committee Mission

Each year MLK Day provides an opportunity for Brookline residents to remember a hero martyred in the effort to achieve equality in America. Despite his sacrifice and that of many others who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, and, despite the progress made in the nearly 50 years since his death, full equality has not been achieved. Brookline’s MLK Day expresses the Town’s commitment to racial equality. During the year, the Committee sponsors and plans events that bring us together to celebrate our diversity, to learn from one another, to better understand how racial inequality divides us, and, most importantly, how we may work together to achieve the goal of equality.