Elizabeth James remembers the day her grandmother took her to one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s marches in Detroit.

James now serves as a program manager for the University of Michigan as part of the department of Afro-American and African Studies. She was just three years old when she and her grandmother got dressed up and headed to King's march on Woodward Avenue in Detroit in June of 1963.

“I was very young and I remember my grandmother being very excited and my grandmother saying, 'Beth we are going to have a special day,'” James tells WXYZ.

She says the memory of that experience makes Martin Luther King Jr. Day her favorite national holiday.

“Everybody was so kind and they were in a really great mood, and yet, they were very strident in the way they were carrying themselves. They weren't afraid at all or any sense of anger that type of feeling wasn’t there, it was just a lot of love a lot of hope," she added.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app