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March To Mark 50 Years Since MLK’s Walk Down Woodward

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NAACP Detroit Branch members discuss the event. (credit: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

NAACP Detroit Branch members discuss the event. (credit: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

mikecampbell Mike Campbell
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DETROIT (WWJ) - A historic event is being planned for this summer in Detroit.

The NAACP and the UAW announced on Monday announced plans for a march down Woodward Avenue on June 22 to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s walk that previewed his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington.

“Detroit led the way towards the great march that the world would come to know as the occasion on which Dr. King declared to everyone

Samuel Taylor, a high school junior, received a standing ovation after reciting his poem, "Blacks," before members of the Detroit Branch of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP. (credit: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

Samuel Taylor, a high school junior, received a standing ovation after reciting his poem, “Blacks,” before members of the Detroit Branch of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP. (credit: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

that could hear, ‘I have a dream,'” said Rev. Wendell Anthony, the president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP.

Anthony said Aretha Franklin is among those who have expressed interest in the event.

“We’ve spoken to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, because her father, the Reverend Dr. C.L. Franklin, was one of the architects of the march 50 years ago,” said Anthony. “And we are asking the Queen to be a part of this. She certainly supports it.”

The theme of the march is “We Shall Not Default On Our Freedom!”

“As President Barack Obama, who is the actualization of the Dream of Dr. King, sits as our first African-American president … the dream has not been in vain,” said Anthony. “Yet at the same time, we are mindful that we still need jobs and peace.”

In 1993, 250,000 took part in a similar march down Woodward. This year, Anthony, said they hope 1 million people will take part.

The June 22 event will be open to the public.

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