Transcending MLKs Dream – By Ryan Lee

Local activist Tracee McDaniel speaks her truth in an attempt to spark change

Moments before Tracee McDaniel prepared to approach the podium outside The King Center on what would have been the revered civil rights leader?s 78th birthday, she began to second-guess the speech she was about to give.

She wondered if the hundreds of people who gathered in the Sweet Auburn district to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last month were ready to hear a new message about tolerance, about expanding King?s dreams of equality. For a minute, she questioned if she was ready to be the one who delivered it, or if it might be better for her to at least tone down her words.

?I finally just decided, it?s too late to be changing the speech now,? says McDaniel, who is the first transgender individual to speak at the rally that concludes Atlanta?s annual MLK march. ?I thought the message needs to be expressed, and I was just so happy and excited that I was the one who was asked to do so.?