African American Couple Reflects on 'I Have a Dream' Speech

Posted at: 08/28/2013 8:35 PM
Updated at: 08/29/2013 7:21 AM
By: Todd Wilson

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech on Aug. 28, 1963.

Rev. Noah Smith and his wife Hallie watched and listened intently from their sofa as one man, a black man, addressed America. "A dream can be possible, it can come to life and I think it was a good idea," said Rev. Noah Smith.

Hallie Smith of Selma, Alabama is quite familiar with King. Her brother was one of his secretaries and she marched in the Selma to Montgomery March two years after the March on Washington.

"To tell you the truth, Martin Luther King has been in my life for many, many years. I knew him before, in fact I was in Montgomery when they organized the civil rights movement," said Hallie Smith.

Rev. Noah Smith has lived in Minnesota since the 30's. His wife joined him some 40 years later. He says life for blacks was tough but not impossible. They both agree, in many cases African Americans in Minnesota have achieved some level of the dream.

"Some of them have had to get it out of nothing you might say. Education and finance go all kinds of ways, barriers, bias, all that stuff," said Rev. Noah Smith. But what they see now is a lack of self worth.

"All of them don't believe they can succeed. And some of them are not teaching their young people to do the best they can," said Hallie Smith.

The Smiths say the worst thing in life is unfulfilled talent no matter your race. So as far as they are concerned King's speech should resonate with understanding and beauty for us all.