Local pastor reflects on 'I Have a Dream' speech

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Mike Mallory
Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

PADUCAH, Ky. - It has been 50 years to the day since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. One Paducah pastor, who was 15 years old at the time, admits it took him years to fully realize the significance of Dr. King's words.

Reverend Alfred Anderson has studied the speech over the years. He can only imagine what it was like for the people who were there that day.

"I know in the crowd, you could just feel what he was saying," Rev. Anderson said. "There's something about hearing it, but there's another thing about feeling it when you hear it."

Rev. Anderson says Dr. King's words resonate with people of all ages and all races -- just like they were meant to.

"He was talking to America. That's all America," Rev. Anderson said.

Over the years, we've learned that nowhere in the original speech are the words "I have a dream." It was improvised, which does not surprise Rev. Anderson.

"Being a minister myself, as you're speaking, the Spirit gives you utterances of other things to say," Rev. Anderson said. "And you just have to go by, go with the Spirit....It wasn't coming from Martin. It was coming from God."

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