Biloxi Man Remembers King's "I Have A Dream" Speech - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/28/03

Biloxi Man Remembers King's "I Have A Dream" Speech

Reverend James Black is living the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King touted for all people in his "I have a dream" speech. Reverend Black owns a gospel radio station in Biloxi, a dream that would have never been realized by black citizens in the turbulent civil rights years. 

"We've come a long way. I wouldn't even be on this side of town in 1963," Black says.

In 1963, Reverend Black was the president of the NAACP's youth program. He traveled to Washington to hear King and other speakers. 

"It was indeed an awesome, awesome event for a 17 year old. The number seemed like a million to me, there were so many people there, just a sea of people everywhere. To see the amazement, they were amazed that Mississippians had come and we thought that was amazing that they thought we were there as if we could not have done that."

Black says it was inspiring to see the races come together. 

"The amazing thing to me from the deep south, from Biloxi, Mississippi, was seein' how the whites and the blacks interacted, talkin' friendly, some holding hands, groups of people together. I saw what freedom was supposed to really be about for the first time in my life."

Black says Dr. King's words stick with him still today. 

"Dr. King's speech garnered the most applause when he went to the mountain and it was sorta fascinatin' and it did stick with me. We left with a sense of purpose and determination, a sense of history because never before had that many people come together for a cause like this."

byMarcia Hill

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