Newark, NJ – January 11, 2023 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka and other dignitaries will host the City of Newark’s 35th Annual “Sing in Praise of King” on Monday, January 16, at 7 p.m., in Newark Symphony Hall. Symphony Hall is located at 1020 Broad Street in downtown Newark. The observance will take place on the actual federal Holiday. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
The City of Newark has been celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for more than three decades. Each year this observance is held in Newark and draws large audiences who celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King with songs of praise, musical performances, and powerful oratory. Keynote speakers have included Academy Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker/Director Forest Whitaker, singer-actor-activist Harry Belafonte, activist Rev. Dr. Jesse Jackson, Princeton University Professor and Author Dr. Cornel West, and the youngest child of Dr. King, Reverend Bernice King.
Dr. King continues to have a massive impact on the City of Newark and New Jersey in general. One of Dr. King’s final speeches before his tragic death was given at South Side (now Malcolm X Shabazz) High School. In 2014, City Hall’s Lower Level Rotunda gained a memorial to Dr. King and his Newark visit.
This observance’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, the founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland. There he reached across generations from the Civil Rights movement to the Black Lives Matter era to create positive change in the community. He has spread the Gospel, developed strong leaders, and empowered the economically disadvantaged and challenged social injustices. In December 2018, he was appointed Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia.
There will be special performances by Gospel singers Ian Johnson and Pastor John P. Kee.
Mr. Johnson is a New Jersey native who serves as Minister of Music at Newark’s historic Zion Hill Baptist Church. He has sang and traveled with many famous artists, including Patti LaBelle, Walter Hawkins, Michael McDonald, Hezekiah Walker, and Donnie McClurkin. He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Bobby Jones Gospel Hour.”
Pastor Kee is a musician, clinician, and internationally recognized writer, earning, among others, 27 Stellar Awards, a Trailblazer Award from former President Clinton, a Soul Train Music Award, a Gospel Heritage Award, and seven Grammy nominations. In 2005, he was inducted into the International Gospel Hall of Fame.
This event is open to the general public but seating is limited. To obtain FREE tickets, visit the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office between noon and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, through Friday, January 13, and again on Monday, January 16, from 5 p.m. until showtime.
WHO: Mayor Ras J. Baraka
Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant
Gospel singer Ian Johnson
Gospel singer John P. Kee
WHAT: Will celebrate the City of Newark’s 35thAnnual “Sing in Praise of King” observance.
WHEN: Monday, January 16
WHERE: Newark Symphony Hall
1020 Broad Street
MEDIA NOTE: Media parking is available on nearby streets.
For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website www.newarknj.gov