Local News

Enloe freshman recites King's speech from memory

Posted February 18, 2011 2:00 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2011 6:23 p.m. EST

— A 14-year-old Enloe High School freshman has captivated people with his ability to channel the passion and spirit of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

From memory, Adrian Bullock recited King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech to hundreds of people at the Triangle MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast last month.

Bullock said that King's speeches are as relevant now as they were during the civil rights struggle.

"I believe, and my teacher told us, without a past, there is no future," he said. "If we just remember the past and where we've come from, we can have a better future."

Bullock said his family feeds his insatiable need to know all things about King.

"By the time I was in fifth grade, I had read every last Martin Luther King book," he said.

Bullock's own future is promising. His grades are good, he's on his high-school debate team, and he wants to be a preacher when he grows up.

"Then, also, I want to go to law school and be a representative one day," he said.

In the meantime, Bullock's family is bombarded with requests from him to recite King's famous speech.

As good as he is, Bullock admits he can be nervous before giving speeches, like last month at the prayer breakfast.

"I was a little afraid, but when I got up there and I started speaking, I liked it," he said.

Bullock said he steadies himself by imagining three people who have his back: his grandfather, his pastor and King.

"They just get me along," he said. "I envision them standing with their arms folded and saying, 'That's Adrian.'"

WRAL-TV celebrates Black History Month with Living the Legacy. This month-long series spotlights the accomplishments of local individuals who are living the legacy of their ancestry and great African-American leaders.