Detroit celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Walk tomorrow

Jun 21, 2013

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Freedom Walk led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit.

A commemorative march down Woodward Avenue is planned for 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Fifty years ago, King’s address at the end of the march was the debut of his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, which he would deliver two months later at the March on Washington. Check out this post to listen to the moving speech.

What you need to know if you attend the march tomorrow:

  • Begins tomorrow at the intersection of Woodward and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 9 a.m. It will end at Hart Plaza where there will be a rally.
  • Staging will begin at 7 am. The staging area for the general public includes the blocks on Woodward between Forest, Garfield, and Canfield.
  • Parking is available for $10 in the City of Detroit parking lots including: Ford Underground, Joe Louis Arena, and Cobo Center. More parking is available for $6.50 at Wayne State University Parking Lots. Click on this link for a map.


Shuttles will be available from the parking structures to the staging locations between 6:45 am until 8:30 am. More shuttles will be available to take from Hart Plaza at the end of the march (available for seniors and those with physical challenges).  

Map of the parade route and staging areas
Credit freedomwalkdetroit.com / Official page for Freedom Walk Detroit

The march is sponsored by the Detroit Branch NAACP and the UAW-Ford.

Honored guest speakers include Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Hon. John Conyers, Dick Gregory, and Bob King.

Today, there are workshops being held at the UAW Center, 151 W. Jefferson. The workshops are meant to generate discussion and propose solutions to social issues today. The workshop topics include education, labor, youth violence, voter suppression, and employment.   

Earlier in the year the committee organizing the commemorative march had a citywide video contest where they asked high school and college students, “What community-building are you doing in Detroit to realize the dream?”

Check out one of the video responses below.

- Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom