WXYZ Detroit - This week, thousands of people are expected to gather in downtown Detroit. They will be commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the 1963 "Great Walk to Freedom" on Woodward Avenue. It was a massive civil rights demonstration highlighted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
Now…about that speech. Was the Motor City really the first place Dr. King delivered that historic address? Probably not! Historians will tell you that he tested out portions of it several times before he laid it out so eloquently inside Detroit's Cobo Hall. But exactly which city was the first is a gray area and up for considerable debate.
However, three things we know for sure.
1) Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in Detroit two months before he gave it in Washington, D.C.
2) Detroit was the first place he gave it at a major civil rights demonstration.
3) Detroit recorded it and Motown made a record album out of it.
So, simply put, as discussed on this week's edition of Spotlight on the News , Detroit leaders had the good sense to claim and market Detroit as the first place Dr. King gave his full "I Have a Dream" speech. And the rest, as they say…is history!