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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rocky Mount in Edgecombe County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Martin Luther King Jr.

1929 ~ 1968

 
 
Martin Luther King Jr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. Martin Luther King Jr. Marker
Inscription. In his speech, Nov. 27, 1962, in gym 200 yards S.E., civil rights leader delivered refrain "I have a dream," used in Lincoln Memorial address, 1963.
 
Erected 2006 by North Carolina Office of Archives & History. (Marker Number E-112.)
 
Location. 35° 57.177′ N, 77° 47.277′ W. Marker is in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in Edgecombe County. Marker is on Atlantic Avenue (State Highway 97) near Spruce Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rocky Mount NC 27801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jim Thorpe (approx. half a mile away); Harold Bascom Durham, Jr. (approx. 0.6 miles away); Miss Anna Easter Brown (approx. 0.6 miles away); Operation Dixie (approx. 0.6 miles away); Thelonious Monk (approx. 0.7 miles away); Anna Easter Brown (approx. 0.7 miles away); Dr. Junius Daniel Douglas 1874-1973 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Dred Wimberly (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rocky Mount.
 
Regarding Martin Luther King Jr.. A speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. in Rocky Mount on November 27, 1962, has drawn much attention. In that address, before 1,800 in the gymnasium at
Martin Luther King Jr. Marker, seen along Atlantic Avenue and Spruce Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 18, 2011
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Marker, seen along Atlantic Avenue and Spruce Street
Booker T. Washington High School (that building presently is a city recreation center gym), Dr. King used a number of expressions that made their way into the landmark speech at the Lincoln Memorial, part of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. In Rocky Mount, Dr. King began by noting that he had been in North Carolina “many, many times” but that this was his “first time in this section.” (He paid multiple visits to Durham and Raleigh.)


Near the close he built toward these lines: “I have a dream that one day right here in Rocky Mount, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will meet at the table of brotherhood, knowing that one God brought man to the face of the Earth. I have a dream tonight that one day my little daughter and my two sons will grow up in a world not conscious of the color of their skin, but only conscious of the fact that they are members of the human race. . . .”


Some have asserted that this marked the first use of the “I have a dream” phrase. Clayborne Carson, King Papers editor at Stanford University, has examined the address and declines to say that this was the first such use but states that it “appears to be an important new rhetorical formulation.” Attorney Drew Hansen in 2003 published The Dream, a book-length account of the landmark speech.
Martin Luther King Jr. image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress; Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram staff photographer
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
He indicates that the words were used in Albany, Georgia, prior to their use in Rocky Mount. Near the end of his life, in an interview, Dr. King recalled that the tired Georgia audience failed to be moved by the words. By the spring and summer of 1963 the words were among the most frequent of his set pieces.(North Carolina Office of Archives & History)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil Rights
 
gymnasium at Booker T. Washington High School ( presently is a city recreation center gym) image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 18, 2011
4. gymnasium at Booker T. Washington High School ( presently is a city recreation center gym)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 981 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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