Make Black History Personal: #20 1963 March with Dr. King in Detroit

On Sunday, June 23, 1963, instead of a quiet morning at home, my father packed up the entire family and took us to downtown Detroit for a civil rights march, he said. That brief explanation couldn’t have prepared me for seeing so many people that day gathering for the march. We would turn out to be 25,000 strong led by a young minister from Atlanta who I had never heard of  –

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

23 Jun 1963, Detroit, Michigan, USA --- Martin Luther King Jr Leading March in Detroit --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading the 1963 civil rights march in Detroit. Behind him were 25,000 Detroiters who turned out that day in support.

We marched down Woodward Avenue, the main drag in Detroit that goes from the suburbs right down to the Detroit River. It was there at Cobo Hall that the march ended and Dr. King gave a speech about having a dream.

Maybe inspired by the warm response of Detroiters to his words, Dr. King went on to give the same speech several months later to millions of people on the Mall in Washington, D.C. It became legendary.

I’m sure the many others who marched with Dr. King that day in Detroit look back with pride on that day we became part of history as the first to hear Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. Here’s the text of his remarks and a video of Dr. King in Detroit on June 23, 1963 –

How can you make Black history personal?

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