Fact Check: Truth Behind Claims This Pic Shows Crowd at 'Black Americans For Trump' Event

Getty Images / Russ McNamera
Getty Images / Russ McNamera


A photo taken inside an historically Black church in Michigan authentically shows the audience at a "Black Americans for Trump" event in June 2024.


Rating: True
Rating: True

In mid-June 2024, a photo purportedly taken at a Black church in Michigan, as part of an event with signs that read "Black Americans for Trump," went viral on several social media platforms, thanks in part to the apparent lack of Black Americans in the audience:

The claims regarding the context behind this photo were true. Detroit Public Radio reporter Russ McNamara shot the photo at a Black church outside of Detroit, Michigan, at an event with signs displayed that read, "Black Americans for Trump." McNamara shared the photo alongside other photos of the June 15, 2024, event on X:

The authenticity was further confirmed by pictures taken by other photographers showing the same crowd, like this photo by Scott Olson for Getty Images:

Another Olson photograph captured outside the church shows the aforementioned "Black Americans for Trump" sign:

As Newsweek reported, "critics accused Trump of filling the historically Black church with white supporters and even 'staging' the event to show a robust crowd."

McNamara said on X that the event was attended "at best" by an equal number of Black and white people. "Of the 8 Black Trump voters I talked to," he added, "just one was from Detroit and zero were congregants." A wider view of the audience can be seen in video from the event:

Rev. Lorenzo Sewell, senior pastor of the 180 Church that hosted Trump's event, described to the Detroit Free Press the sequence of events leading up to his church's involvement:

"I thought I was being punked," [Rev. Lorenzo] Sewell, senior pastor of 180 Church, told the Free Press on Friday. "I literally thought it was a joke."

But after realizing the opportunity was real, Sewell decided to accept, seeing it as a chance to have the voices of marginalized Detroiters heard by a national campaign.

His nondenominational church is located on Detroit's west side, near Grand River and Interstate 96, in a struggling area he said has high rates of mental illness, drug addiction and poverty.

Because the photos genuinely come from an event targeting "Black Americans for Trump" that was held at an historically black church on June 15, 2024, we rate the claim as "True."


Adeosun, Adeola. "Donald Trump's Crowd at Black Detroit Church Raises Eyebrows." Newsweek, 15 June 2024, https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-black-detroit-church-white-crowd-reactions-1913352.

"Photo Shared by Detroit Reporter Russ McNamara..." Reddit, 16 June 2024, https://www.reddit.com/r/FoxFiction/comments/1dhbgbx/photo_shared_by_detroit_reporter_russ_mcnamara_of/.

Warikoo, Niraj. "Detroit Pastor Hosting Trump Defends Visit amid Criticism of Conservative Events in City." Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2024/06/15/detroit-church-hosting-donald-trump-for-roundtable-faces-criticism/74093920007/. Accessed 17 June 2024.