Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in metro Detroit

January 12, 2023 | Story by Max White | Photos by Photo Courtesy, Eastern Market/Murals in the Market- Mural by BMike and The Charles H. Wright Museum

The entire country will come together to honor the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16, and in the days before.

The civil rights leader is honored every year on the third Monday to honor the impactful changes he pioneered, his monumental work on the civil rights movement, and his expansive community leadership. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the young age of 39, would have turned 93 on Jan. 15, 2023.

Each year on MLK Day, there are events held throughout metro Detroit cities and museums. Below you’ll find some of the events in the area.


The 20th Annual Detroit MLK Day rally and commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. here in downtown Detroit. The event is Monday, January 16th 2023 from noon to 3pm and begins at St Matthew’s & St Joseph’s Episcopal Church.


The City of Southfield also hosts a major event in honor of the civil rights leader. With the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Southfield will host a “The Global Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” community celebration.

The peace walk begins at 9am at Hope United Methodist Church.

The program begins at 11am at the Southfield Pavillion, with a Test Fest immediately following.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Don’t miss this incredible annual event, commemorating the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hosted by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and presented in partnership with Citizens Bank.

This year, their programming includes a prayer breakfast, educational workshops, a feature film, and a lecture series. For more information and to view the schedule, click here.

The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with free admission and parking on Jan. 16 for a day of inspiration.

The museum has an entire exhibit dedicated to civil rights called “With Liberty and Justice for All.” Some of the highlights in the exhibition include the Rosa Parks Bus, and several items related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Those include a memorial button, posters, a record album, pins, and more. There is additional special programming to commemorate the day and Dr. King’s life as well.

MLK Day Virtual Community Conversation

The Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School is hosting a community conversation for MLK Remembrance on Tuesday, Jan. 17 with guest speaker, Robyn McCoy.

Watch Dr. King’s speech in Detroit

On June 23, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Detroit for “The Walk to Freedom” where he led more than 100,000 people down Woodward Ave. to the then Cobo Arena.

During a speech at the arena, King gave a speech that featured some portions of his “I Have a Dream” speech that would be given just over two months later during the March on Washington.

Some of the speech was recorded on a record, and you can hear the speech on YouTube.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  2. 2
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124