Despite battling cancer, reverend carries on Dr. King's 'I have a dream' speech



Posted on January 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 11:22 PM

SPOKANE -- Each year, since Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, a Spokane human right's activist pays tribute to Doctor Martin Luther King by delivering his "I have a Dream" speech.

Reverend Percy Happy Watkins has slowed down from a recent bout with prostate cancer.  But he said he feels he must continue the message.  He delivered the speech Tuesday at Providence Holy Family Hospital in North Spokane.  Watkins said as long as he is able, he will carry Dr. King's message.

Last January, doctors diagnosed Watkins with prostate cancer.  Watkins said he went through depression.

"When you hear the word cancer, you go through some stuff, but being a pastor, I'm finding out I can survive," said Watkins.
Watkins said the thought did not cross his mind to stop delivering Reverend King's message.

"There is still a need for someone to stand up and point out the disparities of what's going on," said Watkins.

There is a big question of how he is going to make it to the locations of his many requests.  He's expected to be in Boise at the Idaho state capitol next Monday.

"There's still that pride in me.  My wife said take your cane.  That's that pride," said Watkins.
Watkins said he is ready to pass the torch on planning the unity march on Dr. King's holiday through downtown Spokane.  It is something he has helped do for more than 20 years.

Watkins said there are a few younger men and women preparing to take over the unity march.