Danville Man Reminisces on MLK Speech - WSET.com - ABC13

Danville Man Reminisces on MLK Speech

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Danville, VA -- Wednesday marks 50 years since Martin Luther King Junior recited his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, DC.

One Danville native says he recalls MLK saying "I Have A Dream" right before his eyes.

"It was just amazing that many people because I had never seen that many people at one time," said Ellis Dodson.

At just 15 years old, Dodson went with the local NAACP branch to the nation's capitol. He stood just rows away from a speech that went down in history.

"You could feel it, you believed everything he said," said Dodson.

Now 50 years later, he suspects King would be proud to see how far we've come. And many agree.

"We have come a long way most definitely yes, yet in theory we have a long long way to go," said Willie Fitzgerald, president of Pittsylvania County Branch of NAACP.

Fitzgerald says clear strides have been made. But, he sees prejudice still exists.

"That ceiling we haven't broken through that ceiling yet," said Fitzgerald.

''I Have a Dream' Speech "It's still a little racial tension. You can see it every day," said Dodson.

Former history professor Russell Scruggs says he spent years teaching about the speech and it still resonates with many.

"When you hear that speech, it almost brings tears to your eyes to hear it," said Scruggs.

Especially for Dodson who gets taken back to August 28, 1963 every time the speech replays.

"It do something to you, it kind of stirs you up inside," said Dodson.

There was a commemorative march this past weekend. And Wednesday three presidents gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to honor King.
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