In a highly-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s inaugural event, Blackout for Human Rights and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s (CBMA) hosted "MLK Now 2017," a special program honoring the words and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that explored how his message and vision continue to resonate in today's racial, social and political landscape.

Artists and entertainers who performed at “MLK Now 2017” included David Oyelowo (who will next be seen on screen in the film “A UNITED KINGDOM,” opening February 10), La La Anthony (“POWER”), Olivia Wilde (“VINYL”), Andre Holland (“MOONLIGHT”), Omari Hardwick (“POWER”), Michelle Williams (Broadway star and former Destiny’s Child member), actress Adepero Oduye (“PARIAH”; “12 YEARS A SLAVE”), Artist/Poet Cleo Wade, and more. Musical performers at this year’s “MLK Now” included Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, SOL Development, Gordon Chambers and Samora Pinderhughes (“Transformations Suite”), with comedian and author Baratunde Thurston serving as the event M.C. Presenting partners for “MLK Now 2017” included PICO National Network and

In addition to the performances, “MLK Now 2017” featured a panel conversation with national and community activists, organizers and thought leaders including Media/Political Thought-Leader and Interactive One Vice President Jamilah Lemieux (Co-Moderator); Activist and Director of PICO National Network’s Live Free Campaign Pastor Michael McBride (Co-Moderator); Million Hoodies Executive Director Dante Barry and Chicago Youth Peace Activist FM Supreme to address issues of racial, social and economic justice. Additional supporting partners for this year include Magnolia Pictures, ARRAY, MACRO Ventures, Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and Million Hoodies.

More than 2,200 people came out to this year's “MLK Now event”.

Last year, more than 408,000 people watched the live-stream of the event,  which featured powerful speech performances by Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, Lin-Manual Miranda, Michael B. Jordan, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Adepero Oduye, Octavia Spencer, Andre Holland, and more. Additional highlights included musical and spoken word performances by Grammy-Winning Artist India Arie; Acclaimed Poet and Performer Saul Williams; Grammy-Nominated Artist Bilal; “EMPIRE” star Jussie Smollett; and an “Artist’s Conversation” between Filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who is a founding member of Blackout for Human Rights and served as executive producer and co-host of the event, and Grammy-Nominated Hip Hop Artist J. Cole. The event live-stream was viewed by nearly half-a-million viewers, and became a #1 trending topic on Facebook and Twitter.

 To view photos from the event, visit here.

Please be sure to include proper photo credits when including with coverage.


Blackout is a network of artists, entertainers, advocates, spiritual leaders, educators and everyday citizens who commit their collective resources towards addressing human rights violations in the U.S. Blackout is comprised of both high visibility and everyday citizens. Members include Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Charles King, Nate Parker, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, Ava DuVernay, Jesse Williams, John Burris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosa Clemente, Shaka King, Scott Budnick, David Oyelowo, Pastor Michael McBride and others.


The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. CBMA is a growing network that currently includes more than 4,700 leaders representing nearly 2,600 organizations and programs across the country.

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