Photos: Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire
By Fighting Words Staff
On Monday, January 16, 2023, the federally recognized holiday in honor of the martyred Civil Rights and Antiwar leader, a broad spectrum of organizations, activists and cultural workers came out and filled to capacity the St. Matthew’s-St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in the North End section of Detroit.
Representatives from various organizations spoke including the Atty. Tonya Phillips of the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition, a recipient of the People’s Spirit of Detroit Award; Airman Nialah Crosby-Miss Juneteenth of Michigan & Jr Tuskegee Airmen, poetry and song; Detroit Tenants Association (DTA) Coordinator Steven Rimmer; People’s Water Board organizer Valerie Jean; Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM); National Federation of the Blind organizer Richard Clay; Planned Parenthood and Advocacy of Michigan, Director Nicole Wells Stallworth; Veterans for Peace; Sammie Lewis, Young Communist League; Shushanna Shakur, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Verbena Lea, Detroit Shakur Squad; Aurora Harris, University of Michigan, African American Studies Program; Wardell Montgomery, poet and songwriter; Alnur African Dancers; Anita Jones, poet; Yvonne Jones, Moratorium NOW! Coalition and MLK Committee; Allen Dennard, Jazz musician and activist; Detroit Fight for $15; among others.
After the rally, there was a march from the church to the Detroit People’s Food Coop under construction at the corner of Woodward Avenue and East Euclid Street.
The event was the first held live since 2020 prior to the pandemic.
This manifestation was welcomed warmly by the activists’ community across the city and received wide media coverage..
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