To celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Davidson College hosted “King Day for Kids.”

Parents brought their preschoolers and elementary students to learn about King’s life and to discuss their own civic responsibilities.

The group was rich in diversity.

Older kids read from books about King, and the group talked about some of the obstacles he faced.

“Why do you think Dr. King went through all that trouble?” a group leader asked.

“So everybody could be friends,” Iretha Kern’s daughter told her mother bluntly.

Some parents said they believe their children will grow up in a nation that more closely resembles the one King envisioned in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

“When my children describe their friends at school, they mention their height and hair color, not their race,” said Amy Klett of Mooresville, a mother of three. “It’s like race doesn’t register as a difference for them.”

The discussion later turned to how children can practice King’s lessons at school. They were asked to think about situations where they had to choose right over wrong and stand up for what was right.

The children gabbed about everything from prank phone calls to bullying on the playground, but none mentioned racial tension.

“I’m surprised by how quickly race relations are improving, and I think Obama’s election reflects the change,” said Michelle Jarrell, one of the mom in attendance. “I heard that race just didn’t matter to voters under 50. They voted for Obama or McCain based on their policies, not their race. By the time these children are voting, I don’t think race will factor into anyone’s political decisions.”

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