Detroit's Horace Sheffield III reflects on relationship father had with MLK Jr.
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Horace Sheffield III was in Washington D.C. during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.
"I was there. I sold buttons. I went to planning meetings," he said.
Sheffield, who was 9 at the time, said his father, Horace Sheffield Jr., and King formed a friendship in the 1950s. His father's work as a Black trade unionist helped bring King to Detroit.
"I look back at those days, and it was the formation of me. Having been around all those people," the younger Sheffield said.
He shared photos from the past while at the Detroit Association of Black Organizations headquarters, where he is the executive director.
"I would just say to you that my dad loved Dr. King. He believed he was a genuine article. He risked his own life going in the south," Sheffield III said.
On MLK Day, Sheffield III recalled memories he has of the Civil Rights leader.
"I’ve been telling people the one that sticks out — he was in my father’s basement across from Mo Miller Jr High School," he said. "I was standing about 8 feet from him. I was mesmerized. I always felt like he was speaking to me spiritually."
The younger Sheffield spoke with King.
"He said to me when I came over to talk to him, He said, ‘You see all these people coming over to impress me. I have a Nobel Peace Prize and I don’t try to impress anybody.’ He was just so down to earth," he said.
Sheffield III said he keeps MLK's memory alive today by fighting for voting rights.
"I think if Martin Luther King were here today he would put every ounce of his being into convincing us the only thing we have left is our vote," he said.