At Inauguration, Freedom Riders Reflect on Past: 'There Is Hope'

"Nightline's" Bill Weir gets Rev. Reginald Green and Joan Mulholland's thoughts on inauguration.
5:26 | 01/21/13

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Transcript for At Inauguration, Freedom Riders Reflect on Past: 'There Is Hope'
Fifty years ago this summer Dr. Martin Luther King led the march on Washington gave the I have a dream speech in. Two young idealistic kids in that crowd word Joan Mulholland. And Reginald green they also happen to be as he said freedom riders use of the -- civil rights workers who went down into the deep segregated south to test those Jim Crow. Laws in the face of progress much at the risk of not only being jailed and beaten by mobs all the cops that -- -- in the case of Medgar Evers. Even death so it was really emotional for years ago where Joan and Reginald. Give their thoughts. Right here after the inauguration of Barack Obama. What are your thoughts you're both here you watched the Doctor King speak. And find this monument to so many years ago and and Barack Obama just -- -- -- The magnitude of this event. Is in fact date -- culmination. Of a lot of sacrifice. -- struggle. Commitment and devotion. To the human dignity and worth. And every able to see him my lifetime particularly as an African American -- To see an -- become the 44 precedent. The United States of America. It's itself British statement of a miracle. Perhaps the dreams of so many gone along with four. Whose shoulders he now stands. And who has a vision. Of a better America the America that mocking king talked about as the blessed premieres -- Well this picture was taken actually. Couple months before Barack Obama was born and I just can't. I just can't get over the comparison then and now. Reverend Reginald green good to see you again hello Joan. Every four years are making this a tradition and progress. Yes so -- thoughts. Four years later how goes your fight that you committed yourselves to back in those days what is the state -- -- on Martin Luther king day of of racial relations in America job. It's an ongoing struggle but the fact that Obama could be elected again. Shows that the stone of hope. And came out of the mountain of despair that king spoke -- and there is hope it's moving on. Reverend green assess the first term if you can is there anything you wish you'd done differently. I'm sure -- -- -- -- made him Christian could have gotten him number we understood. When he came into. Hold that he had to deal with the economy in the housing crisis the wars -- you know -- But we think about it before year end total -- The new got to give him great credit for what his real name or do inspired. All -- -- -- -- -- with. What I like to see I'm Sam what's happened is -- it is as a kind of unfolding drama. Continuing with the Barack Obama repression Obama legacy and -- To say that this country. Is at least moving told us. And that beloved community at Martin talked about but at the same time Stewart ever much work to be done -- -- -- regrettable and there's been approaching and I join you react. To strongly to line in the speech talking about the lines at the polling places that is yet another chapter in the struggle for that equality. Yes and my state of Virginia was. With the longest lines I believe. And so. The right to vote does it has to be more than a very -- -- practical reality and getting there and was it as emotional today for both -- -- -- made the emotional part. Was to see mrs. -- that living in -- case in. And we look back just at 6350 years ago as his great I have a dream speech in moment of joy but it was. Truly a mountain of despair with the assassination of of -- and the police dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham and then just two weeks after the march on Washington. Those four girls who died in the church bombing in Birmingham. And two months after that the president was assassinated. We needed that stone of to carry us forward but we mustn't forget the other is what it took to get us here. -- that to the young people. These are stories from history books but you're living proof. Of the sacrifices and it was great to revisit this with you -- I would like as revered talk and -- I'm hoping at least during this next audiences. In his last term. The president some brokers can be given to the District of Columbia. In terms of understanding that we still -- there total autonomy. -- -- -- -- -- -- Have control over an -- -- approval to deal with. But just -- repression will have some opportunity to deal with that -- -- -- used each. Thank you so much and you'll see in four years.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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