Celebrate the life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Metro Detroit

‘We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools’

FILE - In this 1960 file photo, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta. The estate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has reached an agreement with HarperCollins Publishers for rights to his archive. HarperCollins released King's first book more than 60 years ago. The King Estate had been publishing books since 2009 with the Beacon Press. (AP Photo, File) (Uncredited, Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Honoring the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a tradition for many Americans, including Metro Detroiters, every third Monday of January.

King has impacted almost every city in our country, and the words and lessons he was preaching continue to live on.

Metro Detroiters still take what King had to say decades ago to heart and one would think that Detroiters also made a significant impact on the civil rights leader.

The activist has visited Michigan several times, including his “The Great Walk to Freedom” speech recorded with Gordy Records at the former COBO hall, crossing boundaries with his speech “The Other America” at Grosse Pointe High School and delivering a speech “Live as Brothers, or Die as Fools” at the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor.

Martin Luther King Jr. with Berry Gordy (Motown Museum)
Rev. King leads the Walk for Freedom down Woodward Ave. (University of Michigan)

Below is a list of some events happening around Metro Detroit on Monday

MLK Day at the Charles H. Wright museum

  • MLK Prayer Breakfast: 8 - 11 a.m.
    • Innovation from Senior Pastor of West Side Unity Church Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson and a keynote from Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd.
  • Workshops and Programming: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • The museum will feature free educational workshops and family-friendly programming for the day they will include:
      • Two “tipping to poem” workshops at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
      • Restore the dream (all day)
      • What’s your dream (all day)
      • Tipping the scales of justice (all day)
  • Feature film: “Who We Are: A Chronicle on Racism in America” premiering at 1 p.m.
  • President’s lecture series from 4-5 p.m. Click here to learn more.
Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington in 1963 (Getty Images)

More -- A look back at the extraordinary life of Martin Luther King Jr., in photos


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives a boy a pat on the back as a group of youngsters started to picket St. Augustine on June 10, 1964. (File photo)

38th Annual Southfield Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration: “The Global Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

  • Peace Walk: 9 a.m. at Hope United Methodist Church located on Northwestern Highway.
  • Taste Fest: 11 a.m. at the Southfield pavilion located at 26000 Evergreen Road.

20th Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast Special Guests Dr. Wendell Anthony & Vicky Winans presented by the Macomb County Ministerial Alliance

Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama with his newborn baby and wife. ((Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images))

Royal Oak, Berkley joint MLK Day event

  • March: 9 a.m. starting at Berkley High School on Catalpa Drive.
  • Service Projects: 10:15 a.m. at Berkley High School which involves making blankets, sorting through donations and making cards for first responders.

Related -- ‘MLK/FBI’ probes when bureau bugged Martin Luther King Jr.


Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Fueling Detroit: MLK Day of Service


Also -- In pictures: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visits University of Michigan in 1962


Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium on November 5, 1962. (Photo courtesy: U-M Bentley Historical Library)

31st ‘Keeper of the Dream’ scholarship awards Celebration

20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March & Rally

  • Rally & Cultural Presentations: 12 - 1:30 p.m.
  • March: 1:45 - 2:30 p.m.
  • Meal: 2:30 - 3 p.m.
  • Location: Historic St. Matthew’s-St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church on Woodward Avenue.
FILE - The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., right, accompanied by Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, center, is booked by city police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 23, 1956. The quest by a civil rights pioneer to have her arrest record wiped clean after nearly 70 years after she protested racial segregation has raised the possibility of similar bids to clear the names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., whose convictions remain on the books in Alabama's capital. (AP Photo/Gene Herrick, File) (1956 AP)

MLK Celebration: Let Freedom Ring

  • Begins at 4 p.m. at the Fox Theatre on Woodward Avenue.
  • A candlelight walk to close the event will start at 6:30 p.m.
  • The event will be hosted by Rainbow PUSH Coalition founder and civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Six individuals will be honored during the event.

WATCH -- ‘The embrace’: Martin Luther King Jr. memorial unveiled in Boston


This April 3, 1968 file photo shows Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., second from right, standing with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King, and Ralph Abernathy. Today's protests across America against racial injustice are being watched closely by people who five decades ago faced jail cells, bloody assaults, snarling dogs and even potential assassination in the battle against institutional racism. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.