Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Five FREE MLK Day Activities in Detroit
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for leading Civil Rights marches in the 1950s and ’60s, while advocating for equality on behalf of African-Americans.
In 1963, Dr. King led a “Walk to Freedom” march in Detroit. It was estimated that nearly 125,000 people showed up. The purpose of the march was to call attention to inequality and segregation, as well as violence against civil rights protesters.
Dr. King’s non-violent approach helped to bring his dream into a reality. Civil rights protests helped create civil rights reforms that prevented racial discrimination in the workplace, education and housing.
One of Dr. King’s most quoted lines came from his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.
Over 200,000 people gather around the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, where the civil rights March on Washington ended with Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. (Photo by Kurt Severin/Getty Images)
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
King sacrificed everything and even put his life on the line to make this American Dream come true. Whether it was the Montgomery Bus boycott or the march on Washington, King was the voice for equality, civil rights and racial progress.
In 1968, King was assassinated at the age of 38. His legacy will continue to live on.
March 1965: American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) (centre) with his wife Coretta Scott King and colleagues during a civil rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)
If you have a day off from work or school, here are five FREE events in Detroit to honor Dr. King today:
MLK Freedom Walk @ Comerica Park
A one-mile walk around Comerica Park will start in front of the Tiger Statue.
Walk will take place 1:30-3 p.m.; 2100 Woodward Ave., 313-962-4000; Detroit; Free.
Let Freedom Ring @ the Fox Theatre
Hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson, four individuals will be awarded for furthering the legacy of King. There will also be artistic and musical tributes, and remarks by several elected officials.
Event begins at 7 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3333; Free.
Breakfast, Speaker and Film @ Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Breakfast is followed by keynote speaker Earl Lewis Ph.D. Throughout the day the museum will host many free programs, including a screening of Selma (2014), historical portrayals, storytelling, face-painting, various presentations, and more.
Doors at 7 a.m., breakfast program at 8 a.m., $15-$35; Activities for all ages at 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-494-5800; Free.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration @ Motown Museum
Spoken word performances in honor of King, and discounted MLK CDs.
Celebration takes place 10-6 p.m.; 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-875-2264; Free for youth ages 17 and under with paid adult.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day @ Henry Ford
Sit in the Rosa Parks Bus and listen to the story of her brave act. Make your statement in the interactive program Minds on Freedom, highlighting the contributions of Dr. King, Mrs. Parks and civil rights champions like the Freedom Riders.
Then explore the proud and often challenging evolution of American freedom, in the exhibit With Liberty and Justice for All.
Celebration takes place 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124‑; Museum admission is free for everybody all day.