Buffalo, NY - Wednesday night, several local groups honored the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech with events at MLK Park in Buffalo.
In 1963, Martin Luther King had a dream. Today, many in Buffalo are working to keep his dream alive.
"For the working class, and poor and unemployed of our community, we haven't really made many moves since then," says Fight the Power member William Richardson.
"We have a culture here where we have not yet achieved the racial and social justice that Dr. King was working so hard to achieve. We want to use this day to remind people what the dream really was," says event organizer John Washington.
"The dream is far from fulfilled. That we all have to work together if we're going to make any progress, and that there's a lot of progress still to be made," says Pierre Carrie of the WNY Peace Center.
King's message is one William Yelder heard in person fifty years ago when he was just 13 years old.
"I get off the bus, all I saw was people. I never at the age of 13 seen so many people. The energy I felt at that time for one thought, which was unity. That's all I saw at the age of 13 was unity," he recalls.
Now, at 63, Yelder is a community organizer in Buffalo.
"The parts that I took out of it, was what can you do as someone who lives in a community to give back and stop taking. If it's nothing more than picking up a piece of paper off the ground. If it's nothing more than helping somebody cross the street. It doesn't have to be nothing big," says Yelder.
And, the younger generation is eager to pick up his torch as organizers and speakers hope to make this an annual event.
"We need to stir up the pot. We need to make some noise. If it comes down to it, we need to flip the table. Because if nobody does that, we're never going to have a chance for people to look around and say wait, what's going on? What's wrong? How can we see something different?" asks Richardson.
"The dream is that burning eternal candle that everyone carries in here. Sometimes the candle gets low, sometimes the candle dies, but the candle never goes out. Even a dead candle can be re-lit," says Yelder.
Yelder says he is going to start a Facebook page where he will tell his story from the eyes of a 13-year-old, so young people can log on and learn about his experience at the March on Washington fifty years ago.