ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Fifty years after it was delivered, Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech continues to inspire younger generations in Elk Grove.

Ron Jones was 5 when the speech was given and he still remembers it today.
Today’s middle schoolers, who obviously weren’t there, say it still resonates with them.

“He helped us kind of fulfill our dreams today,” said Sarah Jordan.

Students in Elk Grove didn’t know King, but they can identify with his message.

“Knowing him as a boy was one thing,” said a student.

Sacramento civil rights leader Marion Woods not only knew King, he grew up with him as a boy in Georgia. He’s sharing the struggles of that era, and the good times he spent with King and his family. Growing up, Woods never imagined Kind would have such a calling on his life.

“Watching him as a man was just absolutely thrilling,” said Woods.

Woods says he was there that day 50 years ago when King delivered his iconic speech.

“He had done the I have a dream speech at other gatherings but not like that,” said Woods.

Ms. Tracy Christopher Schilling’s history class is making King’s speech relevant today.

“I can learn about how hurtful it is to discriminate against others,” said Joseph Cravalho, a student.

Woods also says the speech teaches there are rewards for never giving up, even in the face of opposition.

“They need to know what their struggle was all about,” said Woods.

He is also working on a memoir to share with generations to come.


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