"This is not the fulfillment of the dream," said Farris, who is director of the King Center in Atlanta. "It's huge, though, and we are three-fourths of the way there. The reality is that it can't be -- too many people, both black and white, vote based on race. That was not my uncle's dream."
"We still haven't gotten there yet because this well-meaning guy felt in some instances he had to distance himself from his blackness," Farris told ABCNews before Election Day. "But he cannot be a black president and he cannot be a white president. He must be an American president. He should be looking at how I can help the oppressed and the disadvantaged."
Still, Farris said, "Just to have a guy there who looks like me, my child or my grand child. That sends a huge message."
"Other than the March on Washington that set up the Civil Rights Act, I cannot think of a movement that surpasses this," he said. "Spiritually, this is a serious moment, not the watershed moment of the '60s, but the emotional high is right up there with that."
But his mother, Christine King Farris, knows her brother would have been "pleased" by Obama's crowning glory.
"God granted this because of the struggles and hard work that brought us to this place," she said. "We are accepted as full-fledged citizens of this country."
Martin Luther King surely would have seen the work ahead. And, not being a boastful type, he might turn to Obama and recall one of his own father's favorite expressions, "Don't be chesty."
Brad Martin in ABC News Research contributed to this report.