Detroit's Museum District to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free programming

Staff Pick

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Library of Congress
Just two months before embarking on his historic March on Washington, D.C., in 1963 when more than 200,000 people descended upon the National Mall in support of economic and civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the largest march against racial injustice ever in Detroit. More than 125,000 people participated in Detroit’s Walk to Freedom in June 1963, which traveled down Woodward Avenue and concluded at Cobo Hall, where King delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

There are many ways to honor Dr. King on MLK Day, including the 35th Annual Peace Walk in Southfield, the 17th annual MLK rally at Detroit’s St. Matthew’s/St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, and the Walk for Peace and Justice at Comerica Park. Meanwhile, both the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts will offer a free afternoon of MLK-themed programming.

The DIA will open its doors during off-hours to offer docent-led talks throughout the Detroit Collects gallery, a book-making workshop (perfect for penning your own peaceful manifesto), and a screening of King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis, which follows Dr. King from 1955-1968 and includes rare footage of protests, arrests, and speeches.

Over at the Wright, the holiday kicks off with a ticketed keynote speaker event that includes a breakfast buffet. The rest of the day’s free programming spans kids activities, panel discussions, and performance artists, as well as a screening of 2014’s Selma.

Events at The Wright begin at 8 a.m., and the DIA opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20; The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, and the Wright is located at 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; dia.org and thewright.org. Events are free and open to the public unless noted.


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