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Locals Remember ‘I Have Dream’ Speech on Anniversary

SANTA BARBARA — It was 49 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. Delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech and today people are remembering how the civil rights leader changed a nationOn August 28, 1963, around 300,000 people gathered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to hear the speech. The American Civil Rights activist lead the movement of non-violence, calling for the end of discrimination and the start of racial equality. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred,” King said. “It wasn’t just pretty words. It was something that carried a lot of strength for people who were in the movement but also now I think people draw strength from it because there hasn’t been very many examples of that kind of strength since then,” said UCSB Associate Professor of Black Studies Gaye Theresa Johnson.Nearly five decades later, the speech’s impact has been passed on through the generations. “I think my first memories of this speech and Dr. King’s presence really came from my family and them instilling in me the value of his efforts,” said Kim Bluitt. Bluitt remembers her grandfather, who was a minister in Santa Barbara, telling her about his memories of the civil rights movement. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” said King on that summer day in Washington D. C. Some believe more needs to be done to reach those goals today set by King in 1963. At the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, there was an event commemorating the speech anniversary. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday and is observed the third Monday in January.

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