July 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Detroit unveiling Nelson Mandela Drive

Detroit — The city on Friday will honor the memory of South Africa’s first black president with the official unveiling of Nelson Mandela Drive at the riverfront.

The event will celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, which will begin with a tribute in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center’s 13th floor auditorium. It seeks to perpetuate the legacy of the world statesman.

As South Africa’s first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness.

The program will be followed by a one-block “Walk to Freedom” procession from the City Hall building to the official dedication site. The unveiling, at Bates and Nelson Mandela Drive, is to be held at noon.

Friday’s event, is the only Nelson Mandela Day Detroit event sanctioned by the Nelson Mandela International Foundation and is sponsored by the Friends of Detroit City Airport, Tuskegee Airmen, and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Detroit Chapter.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison and was released on Feb. 11, 1990. He died Dec. 5, 2013, at the age of 95.

The Associated Press contributed
CFerretti@detroitnews.com