History indicates that Dr. King’s address in June 1963 at Cobo Hall during the Detroit Walk To Freedom was a precursor to his oft-memorialized “I Have a Dream” speech that took place later that summer. A similar sentiment, as he vocalized his hopes for a better, more inclusive world.
At Cobo Hall, he spoke about the power of the soul and how nonviolent resistance could transform jails from dungeons of shame to havens of freedom and human dignity. He spoke about insidious racism and the futility of black separatism, calling on the marchers to join him in Washington, D.C. Dr. King’s Detroit address can stand on its own as a masterpiece of public oration, equal to the prominence given to “I Have A Dream”.
Today, decades later, his voice is a sobering reminder of his message of hope and transformation, for better days and a better world to come.
Address at the Freedom Rally at Cobo Hall
A portion of Dr. King’s speech:
“And so this afternoon, I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day, right down in Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to live together as brothers.
I have a dream this afternoon that one day, one day little white children and little Negro children will be able to join hands as brothers and sisters.
I have a dream this afternoon that one day, that one day men will no longer burn down houses and the church of God simply because people want to be free.
I have a dream this afternoon that there will be a day that we will no longer face the atrocities that Emmett Till had to face or Medgar Evers had to face, that all men can live with dignity.
I have a dream this afternoon that my four little children, that my four little children will not come up in the same young days that I came up within, but they will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
I have a dream this afternoon that one day right here in Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere that their money will carry them and they will be able to get a job.
Yes, I have a dream this afternoon that one day in this land the words of Amos will become real and “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
I have a dream this evening that one day we will recognize the words of Jefferson that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I have a dream this afternoon.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and “every valley shall be exalted, and every hill shall be made low; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
I have a dream this afternoon that the brotherhood of man will become a reality in this day.”
Photography by: Associated Press