The Norman Transcript

State/Region

August 29, 2013

Bell in Okla. marks speech

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma legislators, civil rights advocates and community members gathered Wednesday to reflect on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech.

About 75 people gathered at the Oklahoma History Center to hear speeches that touched on King’s famed civil rights address, the March on Washington and famous Oklahoma civil rights leader Clara Luper. Following the speeches, the group gathered to ring a bell commemorating the refrain, “Let freedom ring” in the famous King speech.

“Dr. King’s legacy is about all of us, which is why we must do a little more introspection — or look inward — and ask ourselves if we have been good stewards of that legacy,” said Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bernard Jones. He said people should be thinking about the speech and its legacy every single day.

The gathering in Oklahoma City was one of more than 100 events across the country to commemorate the famous civil rights speech.

Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, said people often ask him whether King’s dream has been realized, and his answer is no.

“You can say yes, we do have an African American president and we’re very proud of that, but it is part of a dream, but not the dream,” Shelton said. “You can say we are in universities all across this country and making impacts across this world and yes, it is a part of a dream, but it is not the dream.”

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