HARWOOD: Did Martin Luther King have a signature meal that he always ordered?
LEWIS: Well, Dr. King loved Southern food. You had the fried chicken. You had the smothered chicken. You had barbecue, barbecued ribs. He was not just fixed on one. He loved all food. He loved to eat.
I remember on one occasion when we were traveling through the South, leaving Atlanta by car to Montgomery, or to Birmingham, there would be a little restaurant. It was like a hole in the wall. And he said, "Let's stop and get something to eat. If we get arrested and go to jail, we will go on a full stomach."
HARWOOD: People look at the old news footage — Bloody Sunday, the March on Washington — and everybody sees it in very clear black and white terms now. Right and wrong. Do you see the current chapter of the voting rights debate, which the president made reference to in his State of the Union, with the same black and white clarity?
LEWIS: I do. Even today in places — and they're not just in the American South, but in other parts of our country — people don't want all these people participating. They don't want the low income people, they don't want students, people of color. In places like Pennsylvania, elected officials, are saying, "No, we have a voter ID now." You know, "We can win this election."
We're losing at this moment. I think it's both race and pure politics, because if we open up the process and let everybody come in, the makeup for the Congress, state legislatures, would be altogether different. We shouldn't be afraid of the American people. We should embrace the changes for the future.
HARWOOD: I went back and looked at your speech at the March on Washington. You were the youngest person to speak that day. You were talking about how the movement didn't really have a political party. We have much more clarity between the parties these days. We're much more polarized. Is that better?
LEWIS: I'm not sure whether it's better or not. It's important that the Republican Party, like the Democratic Party, try to reach out. It's in the best interest of all of us. Because in the final analysis we're one people. We're one family.
With the whole history in this country of slavery and segregation, if we get it right in America, we could be a real leader when it comes to issues of race and religion for the rest of the world. I think that's part of our calling. I think it's part of our mission.