Former mayor of Charleston recalls Dr. King's influence - FOX Carolina 21

Former mayor of Charleston recalls Dr. King's influence

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Former mayor of Charleston, Joseph Riley Jr., visited Spartanburg Monday evening for Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremonies.

Riley said there was no day more important on the civic calendar than MLK Day.

“Because it's a day not only do we honor this man,” explained Riley, “But we challenge ourselves."

He says the day he saw Dr. King give his, “I have a dream,” speech on TV, changed him forever. Riley became Mayor of Charleston in 1975 and held the title for 40 years.

"Taking a stand but trying to get people to change their opinions and open their hearts,” described Riley.

He focused on uniting races together just as Dr. King did all those years ago.

"I was greatly inspired by Dr. King's life, his words, and his actions,” explained Riley, “So I took them to heart."

Riley said it was up to current and future generations to continue Dr. King’s legacy.

"How can we make our community and our nation more just and fairer and greater opportunities,” explained Riley, “That's the challenge of Dr. King. It'll always be there."

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