Singer Tony Bennett Recalls His Participation in Dr. King's March on Selma in Video to be Shown This Monday at Mayor Bloomberg's Annual Commemorative Breakfast

This Year Marks 80th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's Birth


Mayor Bloomberg is hosting his annual breakfast reception to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have turned 80 years old in 2009, this Monday, January 19, 2009 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street in Harlem. Singer Tony Bennett was interviewed for a video presentation in which he recalls his participation in Dr. King's 1965 march from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama. Bennett was asked to join the march by his friend Harry Belafonte. The singer remembers that when the march ended for the evening, he and the other entertainers present offered to perform for the marchers and they had to build a stage of 18 wooden coffins as their platform. Bennett, who has been a staunch supporter of civil rights, was honored by the MLK Foundation in 2002 at their "Salute To Greatness" awards gala and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2007.

At the breakfast, Mayor Bloomberg will celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and present a video, created by NYC TV with the help of the Mayor's Office and the New York City Department for the Aging. The video shares the stories of New York City's seniors and grandparents who were active in the civil rights movement and are active citizens today. The video features Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott meeting with and listening to the stories of Tony Bennett as well as groups of seniors including the Grandparent Empowerment Movement in Harlem, ICL/Brooklyn Parent Resource Center in East New York, Brooklyn, and the A. Philip Randolph Senior Center in Harlem. The video will also air on NYC TV Channel 25 Monday at 8 PM as an NYC TV Special Presentation.

The choir from The Inspirational Voices of The Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, the congregation of Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts III, will perform the "National Anthem", "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "This Little Light of Mine" at the Mayor's breakfast.

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SOURCE: RPM Productions

CONTACT: Sylvia Weiner, RPM Productions, +1-908-301-1779,; Evelyn Erskine, Mayor's Office, +1-212-788-2958

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