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MLK Speaks in Detroit

June 23, 1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King tonight told a cheering throng of Negro demonstrators the American Negro wants freedom “here and now.” Dr. King led a massive “walk to freedom” (pictured) in which more than 125,000 persons, predominantly Negroes, marched through downtown Detroit. The demonstration protested segregation and commemorated the 20th anniversary of a vicious race riot which led to the deaths of 35 persons. Police said today’s demonstration was the biggest ever in the Motor City. The 1948 rally during Harry Truman’s campaign, which drew 60,000 persons, was the previous largest. Dr. King told the audience many would ask Negroes to take a more gradual approach in their racial struggle. But, he said, “gradualism is little more than escapism and do-nothingism which ends up in stand-stillism.” Dr. King said: “We want all of our rights, and we want them here, and we want them now.”


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