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East Texans celebrate Dream anniversary

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Members of the community also took turns reciting parts of “I Have a Dream,” as part of the celebration. Members of the community also took turns reciting parts of “I Have a Dream,” as part of the celebration.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

People celebrated the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington all over the United States today, including a group of East Texans who gathered at the First Baptist Church in Tyler to remember the “Dream.”

A crowd at the base of the steps and the powerful voice booming from the top — it’s a familiar scene for Lola Williams who watched Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver “I Have a Dream,” on television 50 years ago. She says she knew it was a good speech, “ but I never knew it would mean so much to so many people.”

She has watched East Texas change over decades.

“Before this speech, black people was treated kind of like a herd of cattle, or horses that you just run down the road,” she said.

“My mother and my grandmother wasn’t able to walk the streets with other races,” Willer Green, an attendee said.

But, that historic moment, August 28, 1963, brought change even to an area thought to be untouchable, according to Rev. Jerome Milton.

“Many said this is not the place, this is not the time, this is not the west coast, this is not just the South, it’s East Texas, it won’t work, it couldn’t work, it never will work, well it did work,” he said.

And today’s celebration is proof. For Lola, the biggest change she has noticed, “I can go in any store or any restaurant through the front door where I used to have to go through the back.”

Big changes and a dream the nation has worked toward, but has not yet obtained according to Rev. Milton.

“Yes, we have a long way to go, I’m celebrating today how far we’ve come,” he said.

Members of the community also took turns reciting parts of “I Have a Dream,” as part of the celebration.

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