Barack Obama, John Lewis discuss Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in new video

Former President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis appeared in a video honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday as the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's assassination.

The video, released by the Obama Foundation, features the 44th U.S. president and Democratic representative from Georgia sitting down with young leaders, discussing King's legacy and its modern imprint in an increasingly polarized nation.

Lewis, who marched with King and other civil rights activists in the 1960's as a teenager, described being with Robert F. Kennedy's campaign in Indiana when he learned of King's death. Kennedy went on to deliver a powerful speech that night from the bed of a truck, echoing the slain reverend's message of love, compassion and equality.

"It was a very sad and dark time for me. He was my leader, he was my inspiration," Lewis said, speaking to Ron Brown College Preparatory High School students in Washington, D.C. "But when he was assassinated, I said 'you cannot get down. You have to pick up and keep going."

Click to watch the full video below:

Lewis — who Obama notes as the only living speaker from the March on Washington — went on to discuss his remarks given on August 28, 1963, saying some thought his speech was "too extreme," but that he knew speaking out on voting rights in the South was an important topic.

"If you are speaking on behalf of social justice, by definition there's going to be some controversy," Obama added. "Dr. King was controversial, but he studied and thought and crafted what he had to say. And he knew when he spoke he was expressing a truth as well as he could know it."

RELATED: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Martin Luther King, Jr.
C8MG9A Martin Luther King, Jr.. Image shot 1963. Exact date unknown.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
MONTGOMERY, AL - MAY 1956: Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - MAY 13: Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks with people after delivering a sermon on May 13, 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - MAY 1956: Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. relaxes at home with his family in May 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968) sits on a couch and speaks on the telephone after encountering a white mob protesting against the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, May 26, 1961. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Martin Luther King Jr, at a press conference after meeting with President Johnson at the White House to discuss civil rights, Washington DC, December 3, 1961. (Photo by Warren K. Leffler/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Civil Rights leaders Fred Shuttlesworth (left), Martin Luther King Jr (center), and Ralph Abernathy (right) attend a funeral for victims of the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963. The September 15, 1963 bombing killed four young African-American girls. (Photo by Declan Haun/Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)
President Lyndon B Johnson (1908 - 1973) discusses the Voting Rights Act with civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968). The act, part of President Johnson's 'Great Society' program trebled the number of black voters in the south, who had previously been hindered by racially inspired laws, 1965. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY- MARCH 25: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. seen close from the rear, speaking in front of 25,000 civil rights marchers, at the conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery march in front of Alabama state capital building on March 25, 1965. In Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Stephen Somerstein/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - MARCH 25: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking before crowd of 25,000 Selma To Montgomery, Alabama civil rights marchers, in front of Montgomery, Alabama state capital building. On March 25, 1965 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images)
African-American man holding Martin Luther King Jr flag - Washington, DC, USA
The Martin Luther King Jr., memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Rev Al Sharpton speaking at a Dr, Martin Luther King jr Day rally.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meeting with US President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office of the White House December 3, 1963 in Washington, DC.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meeting with US President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Cabinet Room of the White House March 18, 1966 in Washington, DC.
Funeral of reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Girl Scouts in Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebration
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Washington DC dc12 national park monument near National Mall
Detroit, Michigan - June 22, 2013 - Thousands of civil rights, labor, and community activists commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Walk to Freedom" with a march that followed the same route down Woodward Avenue. At the 1963 civil rights march, Dr. King previewed his "I Have a Dream" speech which he delivered two months later at the March on Washington. © Jim West/Alamy Live News
Controversial paraphrased quote on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Martin Luther King, Jr. with wife Coretta Scott King
MLK with Labor Unions
Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March on Washington
Martin Luther King Jr. at the 'Pacem in Terris' Peace Conference
Martin Luther King, Jr. arriving at London Airport
Tourists visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., USA
Martin Luther King, Jr., T-Shirt commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., USA
Martin Luther King Jr Day Rally
India Martin Luther King postage stamp, cancelled
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (right), President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Mathew Ahmann (center), Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC.
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Lewis has served in Congress since 1986 and has recently been a vocal opponent of President Trump's platform and agenda. In January, he called Trump "a racist" during a CNN segment, adding that he would not attend the 45th commander in chief's State of the Union address later that month.

"Part of what you always want to communicate to young people is that being on the right side of history isn’t always popular, and it isn’t always easy," Obama says in the video. "And you don’t know when things are going to break your way, you don’t know whether your labors will deliver."

Lewis referred back to Dr. King's legacy in closing the online segment, saying, "When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something."

RELATED: A look back at the March on Washington in 1963

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March on Washington 1963
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March on Washington 1963
Black American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) addresses crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, where he gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Dr Martin Luther King Jr addresses the crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the historic March on Washington. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his I Have a Dream speech to huge crowd gathered for the Mall in Washington DC during the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom (aka the Freedom March). (Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1754: Civil rights march on Washington, DC, USA. Procession of African Americans carrying placards demanding equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias. 28 August 1963. Photographer: Warren K Leffler. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
August 1963: Some 200,000 protesters gather to demand equal rights for black Americans on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. Among them are Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) (4th L), A. Philip Randolph (2nd R) as well as Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and Rabbi Joachim Prinz. (Photo by MPI/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Overhead view of the massive crowd assembled on the Mall in front of the Reflecting Pool and between the Lincoln and Washington monuments during the civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. It was at this rally that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Crowd of over 200,000 gathered on Washington Monument (rear) mall for March on Wash. for Jobs & Freedom, during which Martin Luther King delivered I have a dream speech. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
African Americans and demonstrators for equal rights waving signs during March on Washington. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Civil rights Leaders hold hands as they lead a crowd of hundreds of thousands at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. Those in attendance include (front row): James Meredith and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968), left; (L-R) Roy Wilkins (1901 - 1981), light-colored suit, A. Phillip Randolph (1889 - 1979) and Walther Reuther (1907 - 1970). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
African Americans and demonstrators for equal rights waving signs during March on Washington. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
NBC News -- MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM 1968 -- Pictured: Civil Rights activists gather on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom political rally in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (front row, second from right) stands with other civil rights leaders in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. during the Freedom March for civil rights. August 28, 1963. (Photo by � CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
28th August 1963: Crowds gathering in Washington DC for the 'march for jobs and freedom' where Martin Luther King delivered his famous 'I have a dream' speech. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1963: In front of 170 W 130 St., March on Washington, l to] r Bayard Rustin, Deputy Director, Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of Administrative Committee (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. with compatriots at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. August 28, 1963. (Photo by � CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
The political activist John Lewis, former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee addressing a crowd at the 1963 March on Washington by black activists for jobs and freedom, Washington, DC, April 4, 1963. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
28th August 1963: A young marcher during the march for jobs and freedom to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, where Martin Luther King made his famous 'I have a dream' speech. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Demonstrators sit near the reflecting pool in Washington DC after participating in the March on Washington. Marchers led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial in support of the Civil Rights Movemen | Location: Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C., USA.
Screen capture from the CBS national broadcast of the 'I Have a Dream' speech of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968), Washington, DC, August 28, 1963. King Jr. delivered his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to over 200,000 supporters at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
380887 25: Thousands of Americans march near the U.S. Capitol August 28, 1963 at a civil rights rally. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968, right) at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, 28th August 1963. King gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech at the event. (Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
NBC News -- MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM 1968 -- Pictured: NBC News' Nancy Dickerson at the National Mall during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom political rally in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC News -- MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM 1968 -- Pictured: Young paperboy during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom political rally in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
American Civil Rights activists actor Sidney Poitier (left) and singer Harry Belafonte talk together during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. (Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
View of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968, center) at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he would deliver his 'I Have a Dream' speech, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. (Photo by Rowland Scherman/Getty Images)
View of some of the leaders of March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom, among them Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968) (second left) and Rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902 - 1988) (in sunglasses), Washington DC, August 28, 1963. The march provided the setting for Dr. King's iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Martin Luther King Jr., gives his 'I Have a Dream' speech to a crowd before the Lincoln Memorial during the Freedom March in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. The widely quoted speech became one of his most famous.
2nd July 1963: L-R: National civil rights leaders John Lewis, Whitney Young Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer and Roy Wilkins pose behind a banquet table at the Hotel Roosevelt as they meet to formulate plans for the March on Washington and to bring about the passage of civil rights legislation, New York City. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
381091 31: President John F. Kennedy meets with civil rights leaders at the White House August 28, 1963. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
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