"At 6:01, a shot rings out: King is down. He died later that day, right? So, the man dies, but his ideas live on," said Shola Lynch, the curator for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
At the Schomburg Center in Harlem, it was a time to reflect on that moment 50 years ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr was shot dead, standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
On display for the day were photos of the civil rights icon and monitors showing his famous speeches.
One woman spent her lunch break watching one of King's addresses. She was six when he was assassinated.
"It's sad," she said. "I'm emotional because who could do this to a people who were just fighting for justice, who just want what everybody else has, equally so?"
Downtown at the New-York Historical Society, students whose parents were not yet born when King was assassinated gathered at an exhibit telling the story of King and Robert F. Kennedy, who was gunned down just two months later in June of 1968. While the two leaders did not have a good relationship, they both fought for racial and economic equality.
Looking through old photos, the teenagers said they were inspired and want to follow in King's footsteps.
"Anything is truly possible," one student said. "Looking at the struggles of my ancestors, it really shows to me that I, in this day and age, can also make these differences in this world."
That was meant to be the takeaway of both exhibits, even for the people who put them together. At the Schomburg Center, the exhibit's curator said she finds herself empowered to lead after pouring through the photos and words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I constantly challenge myself to be active, to not be complacent, to speak, to ruffle feathers, to talk back, to not have to be so nice and liked, because justice is not such a popularity contest," Lynch said.
A struggle that soldiers on, now 50 years after Martin Luther King's death.