TODAY   |  August 28, 2013

MLK Jr.’s son: My dad would be proud

Martin Luther King III tells TODAY’s Al Roker his father would be proud to see the U.S. elect African American leaders like President Barack Obama, but concerned to that people are still judged by the color of their skin.

Share This:

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

>> we're joined now by the son of dr. martin luther king , jr. martin luther king jr ., iii. you were 5 years old when your dad gave this speech at the lincoln memorial . 50 years later, what do you think he would feel about where we are today and what we have to do?

>> he would be proud of the fact that our nation came together in 2008 and elected the first african american president and reelected the president. he would be proud of the corporate leaders and african americans that are ceos and xerox, a female. he would be concerned about the fact that there are stragerring unemployment rates between young people between the ages of 18 and 30 in the african american communities and that violence is at high levels in our communities. he would be concerned that many young people are first judged by color and later by the content of their character as we saw in the example of, i think, trayvon martin who was certainly profiled.

>> you have been watching with wi me and were part of our story earlier, when you look back at that, with the hindsight of 50 years, what are your thoughts about why this speech changed the history of this country?

>> i think what dad was able to do was to weave into america, the american experience and the words of the founding fathers and use them to say this relates to not just one group but it relates to all of us and why we as people of color are being oppressed, the founding fathers didn't say we're going to segregate or devied. it said all men were created equal and that means african americans . he was able to use the language to inspire and lift up and provide hope for the nation and it reverberate throughout the world.

>> we'll be commemorating that today. martin luther king , jr. iii thank you so much.