Feb 29, 2024 - Culture

Gallery: Detroit's Black history, in photos

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. leads parade through downtown Detroit. (Bettman Archive/Getty)

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leads a parade along Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit in 1963 during the "Walk to Freedom." Photo: Bettman Archive/Getty

For Black History Month, Axios is unearthing photos of Black America.

The big picture: Some of America's most significant history happened in Detroit, but we're highlighting images from more recent historic moments that Black Detroiters might still remember.

Stevie Wonder performs at Aretha Franklin's funeral at Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Angela Weis
Stevie Wonder performs at Aretha Franklin's funeral at Greater Grace Temple on Aug. 31, 2018. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP Getty
 Fans pay their respects to pop star Michael Jackson at the Motown Historical Museum "Hitsville U.S.A" June 25, 2009
Fans pay their respects to pop star Michael Jackson at the Motown Historical Museum "Hitsville U.S.A" on June 25, 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Cecil Fielder #45 of the Detroit Tigers swings during a game against the Chicago White Sox in 1996. Fielder played for the Tigers from 1990-1996, Photo by: Robert Skeoch /MLB via Getty Images
Cecil Fielder swings during a game against the Chicago White Sox in 1996. Fielder played for the Tigers from 1990-1996. Photo: Robert Skeoch /MLB via Getty Images
 Marcus Thames, Curtis Granderson and Craig Monroe of the Detroit Tigers show off their Detroit Stars Negro League uniforms prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan on July 15, 2006. The Tigers defeated the Royals, 6-0.
Marcus Thames, Curtis Granderson and Craig Monroe show off their Detroit Stars Negro League uniforms prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on July 15, 2006. The Tigers defeated the Royals, 6-0. Photo: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Detroit: Pistons' Dave Bing (21) drives past Trail Blazers' Bill Walton (32), on his way to an easy basket during the first half of the Detroit-Portland game on January 22nd. Pistons won 96-94.
The Pistons' Dave Bing (21) on his way to an easy basket during the first half of the Detroit-Portland game on Jan. 22, 1975. The Pistons won on their home court at Cobo Hall, 96-94. Photo: Bettman Archive/Getty
 Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick speak with reporters prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan on April 10, 2006. The White Sox defeated the Tigers, 5-3.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick speak with reporters at Comerica Park on April 10, 2006. The White Sox defeated the Tigers, 5-3. Photo: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
 Isiah Thomas #11 and Joe Dumars #4 of the Detroit Pistons share a laugh during the Detroit Pistons Victory Parade following their sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Championship in 1989 in Detroit, Michigan.
Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars share a laugh during the Detroit Pistons' victory parade downtown following their sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Championship in 1989. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
 Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons waves to the crowd during the NBA Championship Parade June 17, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chauncey Billups of the Pistons waves to the crowd during the NBA Championship parade June 17, 2004. Photo: Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Big Sean and Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing attends Men of Courage at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on August 20, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan
Rapper Big Sean and former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing attend Men of Courage at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Aug. 20, 2015. Photo: Monica Morgan/WireImage via Getty
Coleman Young, a former Michigan State Senator is all smiles as he is congratulated by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John Swainson (L), after he administered the oath of office to Young making him the first black mayor of the city of Detroit, which is the fifth largest city in the nation.
Coleman Young is congratulated by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John Swainson (left), after he administered the oath of office to Young making him the first black mayor of Detroit in 1973, which at the time was the fifth largest city in the nation. Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann Archive
Jay Z at the 2007 GM Style show Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage via Getty
Rapper Jay-Z at the 2007 GM Style show as part of the Detroit Auto Show. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
Then Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden speaks while his running mate Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Obama's wife Michelle, and Biden's wife Jill attend a rally September 28, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Then-Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden speaks next to presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, and Biden's wife, Jill Biden, at a rally on Sept. 28, 2008. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Fans of R&B singer Aaliyah Haughton gather at a memorial candlelight vigil August 27, 2001 in Detroit, Michigan at Aaliyah''s old school, the Detroit High School for Performing Arts. Aaliyah, 22, died August 25, 2001 in a plane crash in the Bahamas. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Fans of R&B singer Aaliyah gather at a memorial candlelight vigil Aug. 27, 2001, at her old school, the Detroit High School for Performing Arts. Aaliyah, 22, died Aug. 25, 2001, in a plane crash in the Bahamas. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Malcolm X giving a press conference at the offices of the Group on Advanced Leadership (GOAL) in Detroit, Michigan, 12th April 1964. Later that day, he twice gave a version of his 'The Ballot or the Bullet' speech - at a legal fund rally for GOAL, a radical black rights organization, and at King Solomon Baptist church in Detroit. On the left is lawyer, businessman and activist Milton Henry (aka Gaidi Obadele, 1919 - 2006) a co-founder of GOAL, who invited Malcolm X to speak in the city.
Malcolm X giving a press conference at the offices of the Group on Advanced Leadership (GOAL) in April 1964. Later that day he would give a speech at King Solomon Baptist church. On the left is activist Milton Henry (aka Gaidi Obadele, 1919 - 2006), a co-founder of GOAL, who invited Malcolm X to speak in the city. Photo: Bettman Archives/Getty
Detroit's Black Expo '72, where avowed communist Angela Davis was the featured speaker in the Michigan State Fair coliseum. Photo: Bettman Archive
Detroit's Black Expo in 1972, where activist Angela Davis was the featured speaker in the Michigan State Fair coliseum. Photo: Bettman Archive/Getty
Governor Bill Clinton joins hands with Boxer Tommy Heams during a Detroit campaign rally in 1992 on his final day of campaigning in Detroit, Michigan (Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Then-Gov. Bill Clinton joins hands with boxer Tommy Hearns during a Detroit campaign rally in 1992. Photo: Joe Sohm/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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