City of Detroit Historian Jamon Jordan give his first annual Detroit Black History Lecture at Second Baptist Church, on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his first, public Detroit speech at that church on that date in 1954.
At the time of his Detroit speech, King had graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University had just accepted his doctoral dissertation. He had gotten married to Coretta Scott eight months prior. King, then 25, was giving a guest sermon and his father, Martin Luther King Sr., had a good relationship with the pastor of Second Baptist - Rev. A.A. Banks, who was away at the time of King's visit. Before that year was over, King would be invited to be the pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. A little over a year after his appointment, a 42-year old seamstress, activist and wife - Rosa Parks - would refuse to give up her seat to a white man on the bus. A 382-day bus boycott would result in the removal of Jim Crow on the Montgomery bus lines, as well as propel Dr. King to national prominence as a civil rights leader and Rosa Parks as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement."
Second Baptist Church in Detroit would be the largest single church donor to the boycott, and Rosa Parks, after facing a racist blocking of employment in Montgomery, would come to the city of Detroit and live here longer than she lived in Montgomery. King would be forever connected to Detroit, and the Civil Rights Movement would be a fundamental part of Detroit's history.