West Texans Keeping MLK's Dream Alive 1/20/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
January 20, 2013
Odessa - National officials are calling this weekend an intersection of history with the nation's first black president taking the oath of office for a second term the same weekend as the federal holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr's life.
Almost 50 years ago Dr. King junior shared his dream with the world. Today speakers at Bethlehem Baptist Church remembered his dream. They say sometimes dreaming can be dangerous, but that dreaming prompts change.
“Over three-hundred years we’ve lived with slavery and segregation. We are ready for freedom.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.
King’s powerful words takes Odessa City Councilman Roger T. Mcneil to a different time; a time when there was much despair but also a time of great hope.
"The times I had to go through the back doors, the times I sat in a little chute to eat lunch. At the trail way bus station, things have changed," he said.
Councilman McNeil was just one of hundreds who were in attendance at a MLK celebration at Odessa's Bethlehem Baptist Church.
He says celebrations like these are just a bi-product of King's dream.
"We become a better people and that's what his dream was. That we could hold hands, we could do things together and bring about unity," McNeil said.
However Rev. DeChard Freeman says King's dream is still not complete, but we're close
"Once you feel like you have arrived you stop striving, stop trying to improve," he said.
McNeil remembers how much courage it took to have a dream as big as King's.
"I remember marching in Dallas. Things are so much different now and we are thankful for King," he said.
He says as long as the people are reminded of the sacrifice King made for civil rights, his dream will live on for years to come.
The celebrations will continue tomorrow with a breakfast and freedom march in Odessa.
The breakfast will take place at Odessa Regional Medical Center beginning at 6:00 am. The freedom march will start at the Southside Senior Citizens Center parking lot. Line up will begin at 11:45 am.