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A Tourism Ad Touting The Florida Keys Reopening Hit A Nerve. It Has Been Taken Down.

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MONROE COUNTY TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
This billboard from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council uses a quotation from the Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream..." speech to promote the reopening of the Florida Keys to tourists, which begins June 1, 2020.

The Florida Keys officially reopen to tourists Monday.

But in attempt to broadcast this important milestone, the Keys’ tax-funded advertising group has drawn criticism for an electronic billboard about the return of tourism that stole a phrase from Martin Luther King Jr.,’s “I Have a Dream...” speech from 1963, delivered in Washington, D.C.

The ad, which had gone up in South Florida cities, shows a photo of three kids excitedly leaping into the sea from a boat with a tagline that is causing uproar on social media:

“Free at Last.” 

King ended his landmark “I Have a Dream...” speech with that line, which came from a revered spiritual song.

It’s already been taken down, Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers said Friday morning, but not before it made an impression on Twitter and other social media.

Read more at our news partner, FL Keys News.