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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrated At Brooklyn Academy Of Music

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday returned to its annual, in-person tradition of honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The civil rights leader's message still resonated on what would've been his 93rd birthday, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.

Legendary Nona Hendryx sang a refrain that has sustained generations, summoning hope that was integral to Dr. King's legacy.

"Take it from me, some day we'll all be free," Hendryx sang.

"I really was looking for an opportunity to share with my children that inspiration that's so important, in terms of where we are today in this country," said Dottie Lebron of Midwood.

The COVID pandemic has renewed the urgency of Dr. King's message.

"It held up a mirror to injustices that have been there so long. Because why did more Black men and women die from COVID than they should have?" said Gov. Kathy Hochul.

It's a testament to the ongoing relevance of Dr. King's fight and an indictment of the pace of progress.

"When King died, he was not considered a hero. He was reviled by the majority of Americans," said Dr. Imani Perry of Princeton University.

His blueprint of nonviolent resistance was an effective strategy for advancement, and not a tool to excuse the statue quo. Only history was kind to the civil rights leader.

"He was very intentional about the language that he used and the challenge that he issued to America," said Lendra Lambert of Gowanus.

Dr. King's life was not a compilation of quotes, but rather a call to action. The fight for equity is far from over.

"I would say, stand up for those on the lowest rung of the social ladder," another person said.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music continued its programming throughout the day in person and online.

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