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Ebony Edwards and her son, 8-year-old Amir, of Florence, Ky. stand together during a prayer at Fountain Square during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative celebration in downtown Cincinnati on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Emily Maxwell | WCPO
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Some youth may have a bit to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight for freedom

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COVINGTON, Ky. -- Many people remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech, but do kids today understand his struggle for equality?

The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Ky. held a special service Monday evening to celebrate MLK's legacy. Beforehand, many packed the street in downtown Cincinnati for the annual parade. WCPO reporter Natasha Williams tested the knowledge of some younger marchers.

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Some youth had a lot to learn about the fight for freedom, and the battle that made history in the 1950s - 1960s.

"He helped change the way other people look at us by standing up for African Americans," 16-year-old Jonathon Mason said.

Mason felt there was more he and his peers could know about MLK.

Parents said it's difficult to teach young children about what life was like when African Americans drank from separate water fountains than Caucasians, sat in the back of the bus and went to segregated schools.

"I don't want to put up a bridge in between her and her classmates, because at six (years old), all she understands is that she's supposed to be there, and so is everyone else," a parent said.

The MLK holiday gives kids a day out of the classroom, but do they stop and remember its importance?

"Some people think it's a day off, just because it's Martin Luther King Day," a student said. "But it's really how he fought for freedom, how other people fought for freedom."  

If it weren't for MLK, "I think that there would still be segregation, and that we wouldn't be going to school with other white kids, and that we wouldn't be able to come together and be friends," another student said.

 

 

 

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