“You can't judge a book by its cover,” she said.
She said she and her peers are beneficiaries of King's vision of equality for everyone.
DeJaMarie Swenson, 12, said a relative told her that he could not walk on the same sidewalk as a white person when the Jim Crow laws that King worked to abolish were in effect.
“He talked about sitting in the balcony of the movies because that's where the black people had to sit,” she said.
Chapple said it's up to today's youth to live out King's dream and continue to fight racism. “His dream is not complete.”
Batson agreed. “Progress has been made, but there's more to do.”
Chapple said first, blacks should be more respectful of each other.
“He fought for us not to be disrespected by other people, and now our own race, our own people, call us out of our name,” she said. “It seems like we're not putting what he said to use.”
Chapple and Batson said they saw news accounts about a congressman whose remarks about President Obama recently surfaced. The youths were referring to a comment Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made in 2008 that was recently publicized in a book. Reid, reportedly praising Obama's chances as a presidential candidate, said Obama was a “light-skinned” black man with no “Negro dialect” unless he wanted to have one.
“It's just an example that Martin Luther King's dream is not complete yet,” Chapple said.
“It's going to take awhile — but he even said that.”