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Sam Moore: Did Martin Luther King Jr. die in vain?

CBS News asked noted figures in the arts, business and politics about their experience in today's civil rights movement, or about figures who inspired them in their activism.

Sam Moore, singer-songwriter

What impact did Martin Luther King Jr., have on you?

Sam Moore
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

From whence I came and having met him, wonderful man. And a lot of people didn't understand this, but off-camera when he wasn't speaking, Martin was really funny. He loved to play practical jokes. He liked to pillow fight. I didn't ever get into those things, but we saw the cute side, the funny side of him.

But this is the question that's been asked of me. Being around him, he thought like this: Inclusion, not exclusion. I live by that, and when I was asked to record the song, "They Killed a King," I thought about that. It's in the new song that I just finished.

But I am disturbed and I am very disappointed, since his death -- a little before and a lot after -- I asked myself, "Did he die in vain?" And with the way things are going today, I'm not too sure; I've got a questions mark there.

He was trying to do the right thing. He worked for civil rights for all -- not just one culture of people. If you listen to the message that he said in Washington, black, white, Jew, gentile, the brown man, he said all of this. But look what's happening. We have turned on one another. We don't like each other. We can't say anything .Well, you know what I think about opinion. But the point is, look at what's happening. His children are fighting amongst themselves because they want to sell his Bible? His Nobel Peace Prize? My God!

And he said in his acceptance, "I'm not accepting this Peace Prize for me. Listen, I am not accepting this Peace Prize for me. I don't want to be put in this position. I am accepting this for the people -- not the black man, not the white man."

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