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VIDEO: A Local Poet's Civil Rights Tribute 

LaVerne Byrd Smith reads her poem, "In America, Can Dreams Come True?"

click to enlarge lavernesmith_200.jpg

When Martin Luther King Jr. died in 1968, schoolteacher LaVerne Byrd Smith wrote a poem in his honor, interpreting his "I have a Dream" speech from the 1963 March on Washington.

Smith, who is retired, was a civil rights activist herself in the 1960s, when more than 200 Virginia Union University students marched from campus to downtown for a lunch counter sit-in at Thalhimers.

Smith has resurrected and renamed her poem "In America, Can Dreams Come True?" in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the inauguration of the country's first black president.

 

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