The Continuing Struggle for Voting Rights: Detroit MLK Day Opening Remarks

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Note: These remarks were prepared and delivered in part to the 19th Annual MLK Day virtual webinar held in the city of Detroit. The event has been held online for the last two years due to the pandemic and its impact on the city and its environs. This webinar was organized by the Detroit MLK Committee chaired by Dorothy Aldridge, veteran Civil Rights and Human Rights activist. Presenters for the webinar included co-host Aurora Harris, poet, lecturer and community organizer; Sarah Torres, musician and MLK Committee member; keynote speaker Catherine Coleman Flowers of Alabama, environmental and Civil Rights organizer; Bilal, spoken word artist and musician; Wardell Montgomery, poet and songwriter; Joe Kidd and Sheila Burke, musicians and songwriters; One Single Rose, poet and singer of the Black National Anthem; Jorge Parra, member of the GM injured workers organization of Bogata, Colombia; Jesus Rodriguez Espinoza, former Counsel General to the United States in Chicago for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; John Kelly, Museum of Free Derry, Northern Ireland; Iman Saleh, Yemeni Liberation Movement; Darryl Jordan, environmentalist and former Director of EMEAC; Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman, author and retired pastor at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church; Lloyd Simpson, Detroit Will Breathe and People Against Corporate Theft (PACT); Toyia Watts, President of the Charlevoix Village Association (CVA); Rev. Edward Pinkney, organizer and former political prisoner in Berrien County, Michigan; BWard, poet and activist; Yasmine Suliman, organizer of the Detroit Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), Frank Hammer, veteran union leader and community activist, provided translation for the Colombian injured GM workers, John Harvey and TJ, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters; among others.  

Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy and James Foreman during Selma to Montgomery March

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