Local woman recalls witnessing Dr. King's historic civil rights - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local woman recalls witnessing Dr. King's historic civil rights speech

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • 17-year-old charged in shooting

    17-year-old charged in shooting

    Saturday, August 23 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-08-23 15:00:11 GMT
    Source: WTOCSource: WTOC
    Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police have charged a youth arrested in Garden City with the shooting of a Savannah man during a robbery Aug. 3.

    More >>
    Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police have charged a youth arrested in Garden City with the shooting of a Savannah man during a robbery Aug. 3.

    More >>
  • Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights

    Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights

    Streets of Ferguson stay calm after violent nights

    Saturday, August 23 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-08-23 15:00:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson). Protesters march Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson). Protesters march Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
    Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.A small stream of protesters marched in the St. Louis suburb as night fell Friday.More >>
    Ferguson's streets were peaceful for a third night as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest erupted when a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.A small stream of protesters marched in the St. Louis suburb as night fell Friday.More >>
  • Albany fire investigating house fire as arson

    Albany fire investigating house fire as arson

    Albany fire investigating house fire as arson

    Saturday, August 23 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-08-23 14:21:32 GMT
    604 West Gordon Avenue House Fire604 West Gordon Avenue House Fire
    Albany Fire Department responded to a house fire Saturday morning on West Gordon Avenue.More >>
    Albany Fire Department responded to a house fire Saturday morning on West Gordon Avenue.More >>
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

"We were so far back in the crowd, and when I heard his voice, my heart jumped. It was like the lord speaking; it's hard to explain how [I] felt."

On a comfortable August afternoon 50 years ago, Myrtle Esteves was one of 250,000 witnesses to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech, "I Have a Dream."

"I really didn't hear Dr. Martin's speech until I got home and read it. I couldn't hear with the crowd all around me."

Esteves recalls being moved by all the people in the crowd. Whites, blacks, rich, poor; she even remembers being shoulder to shoulder with certain celebrities.

"A whole lot of movie stars; you didn't realize you were so excited [and] here is this person who is well-known and after he passes you, you were like, ‘that was Harry Belafonte!'"

"I didn't realize how big it was going to be until I got back to New York. I had no idea how tremendous and what a crowd we had, you know. When I got back home my husband was so sorry that he didn't go with me."

Her son, Steve, was in high school at the time. He regretted not going too, "I didn't go. I had the opportunity to go but I didn't. She was more fearless that I was. I was proud of her but I had that little grain of regret that I didn't go."

Even before the march on Washington, Myrtle was an activist in her community, going door-to-door in order to register people to vote.

"I was really serious about what I was doing. After I fed my family in the afternoon, I would go knocking on doors. In my neighborhood I was voted "Miss Voter Registration" and they had a ball for me. I was crowned by Sidney Poitier. It was a nice thing."

Myrtle's family is very familiar with her stories of the fight for civil rights, and is very proud of her role.

Copyright 2013 WCSC.  All rights reserved.