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Ex-Judge Who Marched With King In Detroit Says Freedom Still at Risk In Baltimore

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Image credit: Tony Spina/Detroit Free Press

A Detroiter who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. says lessons from the civil rights struggle still echo in Baltimore.

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It’s been more than a half century since civil rights activists boarded buses and took a dangerous trip through the segregated south in what was known as the Freedom Rides.

James Del Rio marches with Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit, 1963.Tony Spina/Detroit Free Press
Tony Spina/Detroit Free Press

James Del Rio marches with Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit, 1963.

Historians say the national attention garnered by the Freedom Riders convinced Dr. Martin Luther King Junior to spotlight the civil rights movement years later with his original “I Have A Dream” speech in Detroit.

Businessman and former judge James Del Rio helped bring King to Detroit.

Now 91 years old, Del Rio tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter the civil rights struggle still echoes in events unfolding today.


Quinn Klinefelter, Senior News Editor

Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.

qklinefelter@wdet.org

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