Photo courtesy of Vickie Leister

Photo courtesy of Vickie Leister

by Kevito, Okayplayer

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in an April 1967 speech during a meeting of clergy at Riverside Church in New York City. Fast forward 50 years and Americans of all backgrounds will gather at Riverside to honor the words + legacy of the Civil Rights champion for the second annual “MLK NOW” event. We’re happy to be one of the few places offering a live stream to view this event if you’re unable to attend or outside of New York City.

Led by Blackout for Human Rights and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the performance and revelatory celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s energy in bringing us all together will feature appearances from stars of the big screen and of the musical stage. Names such as Olivia Wilde (Vinyl), André Holland (Moonlight), Omari Hardwick (Power), SOL Development and Samora Pinderhughes (Transformation Suites) will be just a few on hand, as comedian and author Baratunde Thurston will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

Presenting partners will also include the PICO National Network and

Throughout the livestream and in addition to the performances, “MLK NOW” will include a panel discussion led by national and community activists such as Jamiliah Lemieux (Interactive One VP), Dante Barry (Million Hoodies) and FM Supreme (Chicago Youth Peace Activist) who will address the current plight of racial, social and economic issues involving our community. Last year, more than 2,000 people came out to see powerful speeches by Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Adepero Oduye and others. Viewed by nearly half-a-million viewers, we are encouraging you to watch, tell a friend, share with others and make your way up to Riverside Church to surpass those numbers and put the rest of the world on notice that love will always trump over hate.

Tickets are still free and available, but hurry up because they won’t be their long. “MLK Now” begins today, Monday, January 16 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. right where Dr. King performed his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence” speech.

Watch the live stream below: