Just as his father did fifty years ago, Martin Luther King III will address an expected march of thousands in Detroit.
This year Detroit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King Jr. stood before 25,000 people at COBO Hall in Detroit and declared, “I have a dream this afternoon.” This was just two months before the historic March on Washington.
The Freedom Walk rally will feature guests including King Jr.’s adviser Dr. C.T. Vivian, national NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, Congressman John Lewis and comedian Dick Gregory.
“This is not just a local march,” said Reverent Wendell Anthony, President of the NAACP branch in Detroit, “It’s a national march.”
There will be a special line in the march and a tribute for those who walked fifty years ago, which Anthony calls the “’63-ers.”
However, The Freedom Walk is more than honoring a memory.
The walk hopes to influence issues facing equality today.
“Ending racism, anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, homophobia, and those kinds of concerns,” Anthony explained, ” Working to stop youth violence, and putting the ‘neighbor’ back in neighborhood.”
“Voices for Action” is a series of panel discussions held in coordination with the march. It will be held the day before, on Friday, June 21 at the U.A.W.’s International Training Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“This is not a NAACP march,” Anthony said, ” This is not a labor march. We want every ethnic group, we want everyone educated or non-educated, employed or unemployed, to be a part of this.”
-Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom