The Black Church’s Vital Role in the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom
On June 27, don’t miss the latest episode of “American Black Journal: The Black Church in Detroit” series, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the historic Detroit Walk to Freedom. Host Stephen Henderson and guest, Bishop Mbiyu Chui of the Shrine of the Black Madonna #1, explore the often-overlooked connection between the city’s Black churches and the massive march for civil rights that featured Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Backstory: How Racism and Violence Led to a Historic March
Bishop Chui shares how racism and violence against Blacks in the South prompted the organization of the walk by Rev. Albert Cleage, Jr., founder of the Shrine of the Black Madonna, and Rev. C.L. Franklin of New Bethel Baptist Church. The conversation delves into the many voices represented in the Detroit civil rights demonstration, the Black Church‘s role as a moral compass for America, and the challenges that persist today, 60 years after the Walk to Freedom.
Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson’s Memories of the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom
ABJ contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ sits down with Detroit minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson of West Side Unity Church to share her memories of the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom. Rev. Watson reflects on that day 60 years ago, when as a young girl, she witnessed thousands of people come together for a civil rights demonstration that has influenced her life and career. She also talks about the impact of Dr. King’s speech, the injustices that were occurring in Detroit at the time, and the activism issues she is involved with today.
Tune in to “American Black Journal” on Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV – WTVS 56 or stream the broadcast at dptv.org/live. This installment of The Black Church in Detroit is produced in partnership with the Ecumenical Theological Seminary and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.