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King's Dream still unfulfilled

1:11 AM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Just like the pictures from the time of Jim Crow, so too was America, trapped in a hollow prism of black and white.

Sitting in his motorized wheelchair, Carlos Morez pulls some of those photographs out of a bag that he keeps with him at all times. He covets the photos from the civil rights era like priceless currency. 

He was there, after all. 

And he was afraid. 

"I had to ride in her car on the floor, from Marietta to Atlanta, because she was white," he recalled. "I could not be seen with her. if I was seen with her, I would have been lynched." 

RELATED | Dr. King's Dream: Has progressed stalled?

Today Morez, who is 75, lives so close to the King Center that he can see the eternal flame from his building. He passes by the crypt of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King almost everyday. 
The hopes of his youth have followed him into old age. But so have the fears that little has truly changed. 

"That hatred is still there," he said. "That feeling that I'm better than you. I'm still getting looked down on in my 70th year." 
The King Center for many is hallowed ground. It is where the Dreamer sleeps. Free at last. 

But many visitors here, even those from around the world, know there is too much left undone.

"Things have changed," said Julie Helouin. "But there are still inequalities. You can see it in the streets." 

Helouin and her friend Faustine Blanville are from France. They learned about the civil rights movement in school there growing up. Like millions of others from around the world, they came here drawn by the power of King's dream, yet understanding that it was still a work in progress. 

The facts are indisputable. 

Since the original March on Washington, in the black community, unemployment is higher; voting rights are still under attack; and the wealth gap between blacks and whites has increased. 

The two tourists from France agreed that they could easily see the racial and economic disparities in Atlanta just by riding MARTA. 
"Everything has changed (since the original March on Washington)," said Blanville. 

"But I think there is still more to do."

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