HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — We've heard of the famed 'I Have A Dream Speech’ by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 at our nation’s capital.
But what you may not know is that his speech has a historical tie to Huntsville!
Keneisha Deas has a look at the origins of his speech, with this Verify segment.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech still echoes in the halls of schools across the country.
His highly-recognized speech was delivered worldwide at the National Mall during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.
However, did Dr. King deliver an earlier version of his ‘I Have A Dream Speech?’
Oakwood University Graduate: D. Tim McDonald
Yes, earlier and similar versions of Dr. King’s speech were presented in Huntsville, Alabama, and in Miami, Florida.
WHAT WE FOUND:
Dr. King presented a speech at Oakwood University, just one year before his speech for March on Washington.
This speech at Oakwood was delivered on March 19, 1962.
Oakwood University Graduate D. Tim McDonald was there and was 22 years old at the time.
“It was major, I mean the campus was just on fire that Dr. Martin Luther King was coming to Oakwood. People didn’t even know Oakwood. We were rather a small insignificant church-supported college. But to have that kind of notoriety was big and as a student, we were just pumped. It was fantastic,” he said.
“Many of the themes that he presented at the Mall in Washington D.C. a year later, you can hear on that tape in 1962. So you might say he was that proving ground.”
According to the Miami New Times, in 1960 Dr. King also delivered an earlier version of his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech at the Historic Hampton House. It was a segregated hotel in Miami where African American civil rights leaders and celebrities would stay.