50 years later, impact of ‘I Have a Dream’ speech still felt in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wednesday marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington for one of the country’s largest political rallies, which also happened to be a turning point in the civil rights movement.

Students in the Port City are honoring Dr. King by dreaming dreams of their own.

“Because of his dream coming true, I think my dream will come true,” fifth grader Tamya Williams said.

It was August 28, 1963, and the world watched history in the making.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed,” King said.

Hollis Briggs was just a young boy at the time, he but remembers the mood of the city after that historic event.

“I remember the city of Wilmington after that instance,” said Briggs, who now organizes the city’s MLK Day Parade. “I was getting ready to go to school at that time, but it was very uplifting to say the least.”

Dr. King had ties here in the Port City and was making his way to the Eastern Carolina’s when tragedy struck.

“There was a lot of racial unrest in Wilmington at that time. He was on his way to Wilmington, NC, when he met his early demise,” Briggs said.

Briggs says it’s important for students like Tamya to understand the importance of the civil rights movement, a movement that continues to inspire people of all ages.

“In 50 years, we can do what he did and kids younger than me can do what he did. I want to do what Dr. King did,” fifth grader Kaleem Griffin said.

To honor the 50th anniversary of “I Have a Dream,” WWAY NewsChannel 3 will air the entire speech uninterrupted tonight at 5:30.

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