Redefining the Martin Luther King dream

Jan 20, 2014

Hundreds of Cincinnatians marched in the cold Monday to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The annual commemorative celebration at Music Hall followed a prayer service at Fountain Square. See more pictures here on the WVXU Facebook page.

Larry Thompson is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. So was Dr. King. Thompson pledged to continue the fight for equality. "Not only for African Americans, but it's pretty much for everybody, different groups, even same-sex marriages." Thompson said he was there to support people as humans and make sure everybody is treated fairly.

The 90 minute program was highlighted by a speech from Dr. Tonya Matthews, the CEO of the Michigan Science Center and former Vice President of the Cincinnati Museum Center. She challenged the audience to redefine and revise the list of demands. "You understand I'm not trying to actually start a movement. What I'm asking to happen inside each of you is closer to a revolution. We don't need a meeting. We don't necessarily need another march. I need for you to own the privilege and the joy of being free."

Matthews urged the audience to ask questions like:

  • What do I expect when I walk in the room?
  • How do I want people to look at me?
  • How do I want to be treated?

University of Cincinnati student Moses Dobbs was thinking about the Matthews speech. "The dream is more of a metaphor and most of that has been reached. So it's time to come up with a new dream with more demands."

It turns out "We Shall Overcome" has a Cincinnati connection. Word is that Louise Shropshire, friends with Dr. King, wrote the song.  He asked her to change the lyrics to "We Shall Overcome," instead of "I Shall Overcome."