LANSING — The Michigan Democratic Party today released the following statement celebrating February as Black History Month.
“Michigan students can be proud to learn so many great moments in black history happened right here,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer. “Before slavery was outlawed, thousands of runaway slaves made their way north via the Underground Railroad. The abolitionist community in Michigan opened their homes and conducted many on their final journey to freedom, with 45,000 slaves passing through Detroit on their way to Canada.
“After the Civil War, noted abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth eventually settled in Battle Creek. She was turned away at the polls when she tried to vote in the 1872 election, but she never stopped fighting for justice and equality.
“The civil rights movement had many Michigan moments, as well. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. captivated an audience of 25,000 with the first version of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at Detroit’s Cobo Arena in June 1963, two months before the famed March on Washington. Motown Records, a black-owned company from the Motor City, created the soundtrack for a generation growing up during the civil rights era.”