Host Tati Amare sat down with Jonathan Jones, Educator and Outreach Coordinator at the Charles H. Wright Museum to answer some questions about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for MLK day.
Q- First, let’s talk about some of Dr. King’s connections to Detroit. A well-known fact with a few different accounts, was that the first iteration of the “I Have A Dream” speech was given here in Detroit. Also it was recorded by Motown, making Dr. King a Motown recording artist. Is that true?
A-When people talk about the "I Have A Dream Speech’ what some people forget is that speeches are a evolving process . He initially read the speech at the Walk To Freedom March June 23rd 1963 at Cobo Hall. He then read the speech again during the Walk On Washington.
Q- Was it during the March or at the former Cobo Hall?
A- Over 120,000 marched down Woodward that day and it was organized by Rev. C.L Franklin, Aretha Franklin’s father. Dr. King was a friend of Rev. Franklin who they called in to help assist in the march. To this day it is known as the largest non-violent resistance march in the country.
Q- Dr.King was almost a preacher here in Detroit?
A- Dr. King was following in the footsteps of his father by speaking at Second Baptist Church two times. A lot of his family moved to Detroit during the Great Migration; because of that he was in Detroit quite often.
To help the community celebrate Dr.King’s legacy, The Charles H.Wright Museum has an entire day of family programming today and it’s free! Events are going on all day until 5pm.
Click on the video to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy in Detroit.