MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - 50 years after his historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Middle Georgians reflected on Dr. Martin Luther King's immortal words.
"I have a dream...that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!," King cried from the Memorial steps in Washington on August 28, 1963. Those are arguably the most memorized words from that speech.
The words are etched in history. Their meaning meant change for a divided country.
"The civil rights movement of 1963 brought on a change not only for Macon, but it brought a change for the whole country," says Gwenette Westbrooks, president of the Macon chapter of the NAACP.
But have we as a nation and as a community made Dr. King's dream a reality?
"I mean, there's a lot we can improve," says Mercer student Hayden Johnson, an African-American.
"I think there's still a long way to go with attitudes. I just moved here from New England, and I definitely still see some of the racism hanging around. There's a lot of self-segregation in the South that I wish would go away," Macon resident Lauren Ragusea told 41NBC.
The question "have we changed?" motivates the debate over race relations today, like the recent overturning of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a law that aimed to protect minorities at the ballot box.
"It was kind of a setback with the Supreme Court handing down the decision that they did, but we must move on and we shall not be moved," Westbrooks said.
But as time rolls on, King's dream lives on...a reminder of what can be.
President Obama Wednesday addressed the nation from the very spot where Dr. King stood 50 years ago, at the very same time, 3pm EST. He also said we have a long way to go before Dr. King's dream is made a reality.