Collier County NAACP Chair Vincent Keeys was 13 when Dr. Martin Luther King junior was assassinated at a Memphis hotel on April 4th 1968.
King's death rocked Keeys' family.
"Very much so because our family was basically very involved in activism, and he was the ultimate of activists."
Keeys says the country has made a lot of progress in race relations since then, but still has a long way to go.
"There are people who I believe still have and see color first, before they see the content or character of a man."
But Keeys says he's encouraged that a younger generation is speaking out against gun violence and police abuse.
He hopes that like Dr. King, this generation doesn't give up.
"I just would encourage one to be involved, be active in the change that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke about and gave his life for, because there are many out there who are still living in poverty."
Keeys says he'd like to see more minority owned businesses open in Collier county, and more contracts awarded to minority businesses.
He says he's troubled by the recent battle over keeping a bust of Confederate General Robert E. Lee up in downtown Ft. Myers.