Images: Cincinnati MLK Day March

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Cincinnati Jan. 20 marked what would have been the 91st birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of commemorative events, including a march through downtown Cincinnati from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center at The Banks to Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine.

Though MLK's birthday wasn't declared a federal holiday until 1983, Cincinnati has been celebrating the event in one form or another for at least 45 years.

This year's march started with reflections and prayers delivered by leaders from a number of faith traditions. The Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition's Jheri Neri and Episcopal Church of the Redeemer Rev. Melanie W.J. Slane gave opening remarks at the Freedom Center before the march proceeded up Vine Street to Fountain Square, where Rabbi Moshe Smolkin of Adath Israel Congregation, Rev. Lynn Felts of Lee Chapel A.M.E. Church and Imam Ilyas Nashid of the Cincinnati Islamic Community Center spoke.

Afterward, the march continued through downtown to Music Hall, where attendees saw a variety of speakers and performers, including young artists with the Cincinnati Nouveau Chamber Players and WordPlay Cincy Scribes. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose gave brief remarks before Miami University professor of Musicology Dr. Tammy Kernodle gave a keynote speech on the event's theme, "Sounds of Struggle, Songs of Freedom."

| Photos by Nick Swartsell