Not Just Another Day Off

About the Program

Since 2007, the Folger has gathered to share Not Just Another Day Off, a poetic celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders in the civil rights and social justice movement.

The annual event features contemporary poetry alongside historical speeches from activists, spiritual leaders, authors and artists including Dr. King, James Baldwin, John Brown, Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Audre Lorde, Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, and others. 

As the entire nation embraces a conversation on race and institutional racism, we wanted to make these incredible speeches and poems available at this critical juncture in our national history. 


Not Just Another Day Off 2021

This year's event was held virtually featuring poets Camonghne Felix, Julian Randall, and Joseph Ross, reading alongside actors Sara Barker, Fatima Quander, and James J. Johnson.

Full versions of the featured speeches can be found here:
PDF icon Frederick Douglass | PDF icon John Brown | PDF icon James BaldwinPDF icon Malcolm X | PDF icon Audre Lorde |  PDF icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Not Just Another Day Off 2019

These audio recordings feature poet Marilyn Nelson and actors Sara Barker, Jeremy Hunter, and Fatima Quander.


Not Just Another Day Off 2018

This video selection, part of the Folger ENCORES series, includes an introduction by poet Carolyn Forché and features poets Jericho Brown and Lauren K. Alleyne with actor James J. Johnson. The full event also included work from poet Mark McMorris alongside actors Sara Barker and Fatima Quander.