MLK 2019 Celebration
I had fun branding this year’s MLK Tribute Events which was themed by my design studio, Blackbird Revolt, The Current Crisis. The Duluth NAACP, whom we work with closely, chose this theme from the ones we provided. It came from an article by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., submitted for publication in March 1958. In the full title, “The Current Crisis in Race Relations,” King tells us that the crisis had been affirmed by the reactions of the country to the Supreme Court’s decision to integrate schools. King goes on to explain that the crisis not only exists because of White resistance but because Black people saw themselves as equals; making it impossible to accept the system of segregation.
Dr. King speaks to the theological reasoning for nonviolence and integration. He believed that nonviolence was simply Christianity in action –“passive physically” but “aggressive spiritually.” Nonviolence combats the evil committed by individuals rather than combating the individuals committing evil. King says “ The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will be a victory, not merely for fifty thousand Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light.”
We used the theme as inspiration for the poster design, social media posts, postcards, t-shirt, letterhead, and a variety of presentations and programs. We designed a poster series to help the NAACP raise money for their efforts. We crafted the posters with the 2019 theme “The Current Crisis” in mind. The series follows a recognition of the crisis, a coming together, and fighting for racial equity.
Planning and Participating
In addition to the branding, I lead the Rally sub-committee, the largest event of the week and the largest turnout in the history of the event. As the Chair of the Rally, I put together a small dedicated committee, booked and vetted the entertainment, managed the stage, and helped bring the overall cohesiveness to the theme. My design studio, Blackbird Revolt, also participated in each event, either volunteering, organizing, and engaging the community.