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Oregon Legislator Recounts Childhood Moments With MLK's Family

People gathered in Portland Monday for the 28th annual “Keeping Alive the Dream” tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. 

OPB’s Think Out Loud asked attendants to reflect on King’s legacy, and on President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Lew Frederick is an Oregon lawmaker who represents Portland’s House District 43. He told OPB how he became acquainted with the King family.

Lew Frederick

Lew Frederick

Oregon House of Representatives

Frederick says he arrived in Atlanta at about age ten, in the middle of the civil rights movement.  And his friends, he says, were Martin Luther King, Jr.’s children:

“My playmates were Marty, Yolanda and Dexter King,” Frederick says. “And I would spend — couple, several times I was over at their house, they were over at my house, Dr. King would tell us to quit running through the house, to turn the music down, and he was a dad.”

Frederick says King would also tell the children what he expected of them — and that was to make things better for the people who came after them. 

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