Malden residents of all ages, genders, and racial backgrounds came together in the Spring of 2008 to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by recreating his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The final product, titled “We Have a Dream,” was produced by Anne D'Urso-Rose of Malden Access Television and counts 150 Malden voices as contributors. It premiered on Martin Luther King Day in 2009 and will be shown to the public again during several events this weekend.
D'Urso-Rose received inspiration for the project after hearing a third-grader recite King's entire speech from memory. During filming, which spanned a week, she hand-picked sentences from the speech for every participant, assigning phrases based on the person's age or appearance. Certain sentences called for a person of color to recite them, she said. No one was turned away.
Ward 7 City Councillor Neal Anderson said he was pleased to take part in the project, which reflects positively on Malden's acceptance of racial diversity, he said.
“As an African American, certainly Martin Luther King has been my hero,” he added on Wednesday. “I was proud to participate.”
Anderson will also serve as the Master of Ceremonies at Saturday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon at Anthony's Restaurant in Malden, hosted by the North Shore Black Women's Association. "We Have a Dream" will be screened at the event, which has been a Malden tradition for 18 years.
Over its one-year public span, D'Urso-Rose said the video has inspired many positive reactions from community members who found the diverse cast well-fitted to King's message of equality. For some, it was the first time they'd listened to the speech in its entirety.
“Some people said it was as if they were hearing it for the first time,” she said.