Alex Witt | August 17, 2013
>>> 50 years ago this month martin luther king jr . had the march on washington and declared he had a dream. half a century later the nation is celebrating that day and its impacts with new marches on washington . joining me now is martin luther king iii . such a pleasure. thank you for joining me.
>> thank you.
>> before we get to the details of what is planned, i want to ask about martin luther king memorial. will they be done by the 24th when people are converging on washington or the actual anniversary on the 28th?
>> i believe so. i'm not 100% sure but i can't imagine it would not be done in a fashion so that it is appropriate. talk about the meaning of this anniversary.
>> it has monumental meaning. 50 years since dad delivered his i have a dream speech before the nation. what is interesting about it to me and as i reflect is 50 years ago our nation had 23 million people living in poverty and today we have 60 million. it does not mean we have not made strides. we have, but it seems we have to rededicate ourselves to figuring out to how rerealize the dream that martin luther king envisioned, justice and equality for all human kind .
>> one week from today you're leading this march on washington . the family's of emmett till and mar hatrayvon martin. talk to me about the message you want to send that day.
>> in 1963 the march focused on jobs and freedom. the irony of it is in 2013 , it still really is jobs, freedom and justice. justice is added. over the last two months we have seen the voting rights gutted. we seen a verdict in the trayvon martin case that many feel was not necessarily a just verdict. i think there are a number of issues that have to be addressed. question got to find way to get congress to work together to create a new voting rights act to ensure that no one is ever disallowed to vote. we got do find way to stimulate our economy. we got to address the issue of immigration reform . unless the people speak out, we don't get any action from our congress.
>> this march is one week from today. on the 28th, the actual anniversary of your father's i have a dream speech, the president is going to take to the steps of the lincoln memorial and he's going to deliver a speech. what do you want to hear from him?
>> you know, most of all the president has to figure out how we bring america together. we seem to be divided. i think the president is tried diligently to do that. we as a nation are not having success. i think the president, i don't know that the president's job is to articulate what the dream and vision is but maybe to articulate what the dream and vision must become in the 21st century and beyond. americans have to participate. none of this can happen. it's not on the shoulders of the president or just congress. americans must participate in an active way to say what we want for our children and generations yet unborn to make america better for all americans .
>> i'm curious about the optics and the tremendous meaning of seeing the first african- american president standing on those steps 50 years later. did your father, do you believe, envisioned that happening?
>> my father certainly envisioned and you may or may not know predicted there would be an african- american president . yes, he definitely envisioned this would happen. as it related to commemoration of an anniversary, that's difficult to say. certainly he predicted there would be an african- american president and knew that would happen someday. that's going to be an incredible experience. most moving to many around the nation and the world.
>> martin luther king iii , thank you for your time. we'll be all over this. you can tune into msnbc. we'll have full coverage of that march.