Houston To Ring 'Freedom Bells' On 50th Anniversary Of 'Free at Last' Speech

Bells at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX. [Image by: Dan Machold]
Later this month cities across America will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. Houston will participate.

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King's words electrified the nation.

"And when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.'"

The King Foundation is asking cities to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by ringing freedom bells.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says there will be a bell ringing outside City Hall on August 28th at 2 p.m.

"It is an opportunity to come together as a community and realize that while all of the dreams of the civil rights movement have not been realized, that we have made tremendous progress and that we are one country united trying to seek justice for all."

The mayor is asking churches, individuals and anyone with access to bells to ring them for 15 seconds. Parker says the bells should be solemn and should serve as a moment of reflection.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...