Before "I Have a Dream," there was the "Great Walk to Freedom" in Detroit | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Before "I Have a Dream," there was the "Great Walk to Freedom" in Detroit

Jan 16, 2017

Two months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers down Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Rev. King famously called the March “the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States.”

Over 125,000 people participated in the “Detroit Walk to Freedom” on June 23, 1963. The March was partially a practice run for the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Cobo Hall in Detroit on June 23, 1963.
Credit 50th Anniversary Freedom Walk Facebook Page

The “Walk to Freedom” celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. That day, Martin Luther King III addressed thousands, with a sentiment similar to that of his father in 1963.

Today, Detroiters are memorializing the March by biking over 10 miles to various sites that King visited that day, including Cobo Arena, where he gave an early version of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

Take a moment to listen to a clip of the speech at Cobo Arena:

The full text and audio of the 35-minute speech can be found here.

(Support trusted journalism like this in Michigan. Give what you can here.)