50 years after "I Have a Dream:" Tyler then and now - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

50 years after "I Have a Dream:" Tyler then and now

Posted: Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:44:03 GMT
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>

TYLER (KYTX) - Martin Luther King Jr. changed history with his momentous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington.

It's a day many Tyler locals remember very clearly, as they think about the beginning of change in their own city.

"It used to be a different place," says Tyler's current school board president, Orenthia Mason.

She was 15 years old when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told the world about his dream for equality - the type of equality that didn't exist in Tyler 50 years ago.

"If you walked downtown, we as African American children had to step aside if any of our native Caucasian Tylerites walked by, you had to go through the back doors of all the buildings," Mason says. 

She was raised in a segregated Tyler community.

"I was a graduate at Emmett J. Scott High School in 1970 and that was the year that the public schools integrated, so I remember that firmly," she says.

Exactly 50 years after king's speech, Mason stands in downtown Tyler alongside other city leaders, reciting his powerful words.

"I have a dream that one day on the Red Hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down at a table together with brotherhood. I have a dream."

That specific piece of King's speech is dear to Tyler Pastor Stuart Baskin's heart.

"This day is so important to me because my great great grandfather was a judge in Waco. He came to Texas from Alabama and he brought with him a slave. When the Emancipation Proclamation came down, he freed his slave and helped him get into business. We discovered just a few years ago that the great great grandson of that slave happens to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas," Baskin explains.

Baskin eventually got to meet Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson in person.

"Fulfilling in some ways Dr. King's dream," he says proudly.

He is one of many in our Tyler community, who hope to keep that dream alive.

"Forget about color of skin," Mason says. "Let's just work together to make the world a better place!"

She listens to Martin Luther King's words: "Free at last, free at last, good God almighty we are free at last."

Mason and other community leaders say while Tyler was not as progressive as many other cities across America with the civil rights movement, there have been great strides made right here in our local communities, and that effort will continue.
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.