TODAY   |  August 24, 2013

Kids on MLK’s legacy: ‘I would just say thank you’

NBC chief education correspondent Rehema Ellis talks to Cincinnati children aged 12 to 16 about the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a dream” speech. “We can all play together, drink the same water, and go to the same water fountain,” says one, while another says he would thank Dr. King “because I appreciate all the things he has done for us.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> thanks very much.

>>> dreaming of kids around the world living in harmony. has the dream come true ?

>> reporter: at the city pool in cincinnati, ohio. these kids tell you they are living part of dr. king's dream.

>> we can all play together, drink the same water and go to the same water fountain .

>> without him, we would never be able to do that.

>> we hope one day everybody can speak willing and fairly.

>> reporter: on a hot summer day, we got nine young students 12 to 16 years old to talk about a way of life in america they have never known. when hundreds of thousands marched on washington for jobs and freedom and martin luther king jr . threatened to change things, peacefully.

>> i have a dream. my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. i have a dream.

>> reporter: even though none of them have heard the whole speech or studied his life in depth, they have strong opinions about the man and his legacy.

>> i want to know how he could take all that punishment and all the anger people took out on him.

>> reporter: on why dr. king is important.

>> i never experienced a racial incident. i have never been through that.

>> he made it possible for me to go through a privileged school.

>> reporter: on equality. do you think everybody is equal and treated the same?

>> sometimes. sometimes not. depends on where they are.

>> reporter: if dr. king were here today, what would you say to him?

>> thank you because i appreciate all the things he has done for us.

>> i would just love to hear him speak.

>> free at last. free at last, thank god almighty , i'm free at last.

>> would love to see him in action and participate in what he's doing and support it.

>> reporter: a new century of dreamers living what dr. king hopes 1963 would not be an end, but a beginning. nbc news, cincinnati.

>> we would like to know about your dreams. tell us on twitter #dreamday or see what other people are sharing