52nd anniversary of King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech honored

Published 10:55 pm Friday, August 28, 2015

Queen Jackson sings during a ceremony to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Queen Jackson sings during a ceremony to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Fifty-two years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words rang out over a sea of more then 200,000 people in Washington, D.C. in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech that became an iconic moment in civil rights history.

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends — so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream,” King said in his speech.

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“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

King’s famous speech was celebrated at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge Friday, as people joined together to sing, praise and listen to his famed words.

Queen T. Jackson, who organizes the celebration every year, said it was a day to celebrate King’s speech, but it is also a day to educate a younger generation.

“I’m a dreamer, and I keep the dream alive,” Jackson said. “To me, it means we can dream. Whatever we desire, what we want … we can have, but we’ve got to see God first, and we’ve got to want that. I see Selma booming, and I see Selma growing, and I want to be part of that change.”

Jackson said Friday was also a day to celebrate the NAACP’s march from Selma to Washington, D.C., which was nearing its final destination, and the life of Amelia Boynton Robinson, who passed away earlier this week.

“I am celebrating their arrival too. We have to thank God for Amelia Boynton Robinson too. She inspired us as well,” Jackson said.

The celebration hosted several speakers, including bishop Donovan L. Rivers, who is campaigning for Congress out of Seattle, Washington.

Rivers addressed the crowd, telling them what the dream should mean.

“There is a difference between a dream and a vision. Martin Luther King had a dream,” Rivers said.

“The dream is because of one or two reasons. Either a person is sleeping or they’re in the position of preparing to sleep. I personally believe that Martin knew that he had short time on this earth, so I believe the dream talks about the work that he wanted to complete but was not able to complete.”

Rivers said it is up to younger generations to carry on the work that King did in a non-violent manner.

“A lot of people talk about the dream, but they don’t talk about different ways to make sure that dream gets to be a reality, and that means for it to be reality we have to encompass a spirit of continuing the dream,” Rivers said.