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CNN Live Event/Special
Daughters of Legacy
Aired July 13, 2008 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, HOST: Martin Luther King, Jr, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sidney Poitier, Johnnie Cochran, on the streets, in the ring, in cinemas and courtrooms -- these men made, shaped and changed the course of history in the 20th century.
They'll live forever in our national memory. That's their legacy. Generations of Americans think of them almost as family. That's their gift.
For Bernice King, Rasheda Ali, Attalah Shabazz, Sherry Poitier, and Tiffany Cochran, these idols and icons are family.
TIFFANY COCHRAN, DAUGHTER OF JOHNNIE COCHRAN: To be able to sit and just chat about our fathers, I've never had an opportunity like this.
BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I mean, you're right, right, because, you know, he was just my daddy, you know?
RASHEDA ALI, DAUGHTER OF MUHAMMAD ALI: Do you call your dad "daddy," too? Do you say daddy? Do you say daddy?
R. ALI: Me, too.
SHERRI POITIER, DAUGHTER OF SIDNEY POITIER: He would literally sit you down and speak to you to a point that you would want to say, please give me a spanking.
ATTALLAH SHABAZZ, DAUGHTER OF MALCOLM X: Many people don't know that I watched my father's funeral from her parents' master bedroom.
S. POITIER: It's all about family.
LEMON (voice over): I'm Don Lemon. I've been privileged to get to know five remarkable daughters, remarkable women. And over the next hour, you will, too. You'll see history through the eyes and hearts of women who saw it up close.
R. ALI: I think like all of us, in the heyday of my dad's career, particularly, I was very young.
B. KING: For me, I never was really aware of all that was going on.
SHABAZZ: We were babies. We were young. S. POITIER: We were young.
SHABAZZ: Very young.
LEMON: And see why each of these fathers, in the eyes of these daughters, is the greatest of all time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUHAMMAD ALI, WORLD BOXING CHAMPION: I'm young, I'm handsome, I'm fast, I'm pretty and can't possibly be beaten.
SIDNEY POITIER, ACTOR: Primarily because there was an energy in America that made it possible.
MALCOLM X, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Want to show black people how to stand on our own feet and solve our own problems.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: But I say unto you, love your enemies.
JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE LAWYER: It makes no sense. It doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.
Good time, your honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
T. COCHRAN: I've been looking forward to this day for so long. I mean think it's a blessing because I know how much I love my father. And I can only imagine the love they have. I mean it's a special bond between a father and his daughter.
B. KING: So this is a first.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you doing? Good, good.
LEMON (voice over): Bernice King, Rasheda Ali, Tiffany Cochran had never been in the same place at the same time before the four of us met for breakfast at Tiffany's house just outside Atlanta.
(On camera): You're so down to earth. It's -- you know, when you think you're going to meet Johnny Cochran's daughter, you think, oh you know, she's going to be -- do people -- do you think people have that perception of you initially?
T. COCHRAN: I think they do. But I am definitely the spitting image of my dad. He could talk to anyone. He loved people. I mean I always tell people, walking through an airport with him is an adventure because he has to stop and talk to every -- so you never made a plane because he's always like, hey, how you doing? He would sign autographs and take pictures, and I got that from him.
LEMON: You are -- you know, here talking about the very human side of your father. But to a lot of people, you know, he was the guy on television, he was the guy that, you know, set O.J. free who -- you know, people say was guilty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury and the above (INAUDIBLE), find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
T. COCHRAN: Everyone remembers when the verdict came down. It was a very polarizing thing. People thought African-Americans were cheering. But what they didn't understand is they were cheering the fact that a justice system they felt had let them down had worked in the sense that this man went to trial and a jury acquitted him in that sense, and the fact that, for the first time, we were able to see a man who was very good in the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. COCHRAN: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
T. COCHRAN: He had a brilliant legal mind and he was able to do his job and do it well. And I think that's where the cheering came from.
LEMON: Do you really understand what your fathers gave, not only to America but to the world? Do you, Rasheda, understand that?
R. ALI: I have to look at videos and I have to look at some footage of my dad, not just in the ring but also kind of how he interacted with Martin Luther King and this Malcolm X and with Johnnie Cochran and these other great men.
And that's been, for me, I start to realize that he really had more to offer.
LEMON: You have a twin sister, right?
R. ALI: I do. Identical.
LEMON: What's that relationship like? Do you guys have daddy conversations together, conversations about daddy?
R. ALI: When we are around my dad, it gives him a big grin on his face because we're like psychotic. We're talking and stuff and it drives him nuts, because we're like, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, and he laughs.
LEMON: When you think -- same thing with your family, and I've seen pictures of you with your family sitting around the living room, what have you. What are those moments that you remember most about your dad and being with your mom and your family?
B. KING: I was only five when he was assassinated. And for some reason, I just -- I don't remember much. But my father -- he was able to balance the work that he was doing with humor. He was a very fun- loving person.
When he was at home, he spent time with us, and he would play a lot with us, to my mother's dismay, because she was the one that disciplined us. He would never discipline us. I mean that's just -- he left that job to her.
LEMON: Good cop, bad cop. Yes.
B. KING: Exactly. So she grew up being the bad cop. You know, and he was the good one. So when my father used to come off the road, there's a game that he would play with everybody, but I guess I remember it the most because it's the only living memory that I have of him.
And he would come in and each one of us had a spot on the face and he said, OK, we got to play the kissing game today. My spot was on the forehead and the two boys' were on either side of the cheek and my sister was slightly off to the side of the mouth. And of course, you know what mom's was.
LEMON: Right there, yes?
B. KING: Right.
LEMON (voice over): When you're a daughter of legacy, larger-than- life events are simply life.
B. KING: You don't have bodyguards, no. I never had bodyguards.
LEMON: For two other daughter, legacy is a lifetime connection.
(On camera): One family, both of your families. I didn't know about it. And I know lots about both of your family.
SHABAZZ: But you know about them professionally or in the public. But people are 100 percent human beings all day long. And the 20 percent that becomes public, people live as if it's their 100 percent. There's a full 80 percent that never gets discussed.
LEMON (voice over): Private lives and the name, and the public domain, when DAUGHTERS OF LEGACY returns.
LEMON (voice over): Extraordinary lives can still leave room for the ordinary. Balancing the two is an art and an act of love.
(On camera): What was life like as a child in the King home? Was it -- do you think it was like a normal, typical American family?
B. KING: My mother, even after my father died, she wanted to make sure we had a fairly normal life. We hung out in the neighborhood with the neighborhood kids. You know, we didn't have -- people that meet me now, they're like, you don't have bodyguards? No, I never had bodyguards.
There was only one time when I had a bodyguard and that's when James Earl Ray had escaped from prison. But that's the only time that I remember anybody being around.
LEMON: And you?
T. COCHRAN: When I was in high school, my father -- a lot of people didn't know my father nationally but he was still very well known in Los Angeles, because if you ever got in any trouble, you would see Johnnie Cochran, because, if you didn't have any money, he would work it out for you.
He didn't -- you know, he wasn't concerned. He did a lot of work for free. So he was the community hero in that respect that he was going to help you with your legal problem.
So he was a big deal in Los Angeles. So my friends all knew. They're like, that's Tiffany's dad, you know? It was only later that I became Johnnie's daughter.
LEMON: Did you ever wish you were Bob Jones' daughter?
R. ALI: Honestly, I hid my identity a lot because growing up people already knew who I was because my dad would come to our elementary schools and then it would be a big ordeal. And I knew at a young age that being Muhammad's daughter, and people know that, they'll never the truth.
A lot of people had misconceptions about why (INAUDIBLE), aren't you supposed to have a bodyguard? There are a lot of people that did not like me. There were even people whose dads were -- was for the war and didn't like my dad.
So in my 20's, I started -- I moved to Florida and I thought this would be a fresh start and I started to take that part out of the mix in terms of being -- I just -- I don't really come out and tell you who I am. I just want to be Rasheda.
LEMON: You didn't tell your husband.
R. ALI: I didn't tell my boyfriend at that time, no. (INAUDIBLE) we dated for about a year. And I did not tell him.
LEMON: When you're in your teens, I can't imagine like going out and it's like, oh, I'm going out with a King. That would be tough to come to your house and pick you up. I don't know if I could do it. I think I'd have sweaty palms and the whole thing.
I mean, did you -- did guys experience that when they came to...
B. KING: I had a boyfriend all through high school, just one boyfriend and actually he didn't pick me up. I had to pick him up. That was my problem. You know?
LEMON: He didn't have a car? B. KING: No. It's like, how can you date Dr. King's daughter? I mean, most people think your image of who you want to be with is your father. And so it's like, I can't measure up to that.
LEMON: Did your husband know in the beginning when you were dating that -- who your dad was and the whole thing?
T. COCHRAN: Oh, yes.
LEMON: Was that a little weird?
T. COCHRAN: You know, I don't think so. And most people know because most people, you know, in Atlanta know. But, you know, he just -- he was like, I want to get to know you.
He might have said one thing about the Simpson trial. But he wasn't like -- like most people I meet want to tell me how they taped the entire trial. You know he wasn't like that, fortunately. He was just like, I really admired what your dad did. And that was enough. You know? He wasn't a fanatic. He was just -- you know, right.
He was OK. He had the right amount of interest in it.
LEMON: These ladies are married. You're single. At some point do you go, do you not know who your -- who likes you for what you really are? Is that...
B. KING: Exactly. You never know. And I wish I could disguise my identity like her, but unfortunately I can't, because, you know, people either know me instantly or through conversation. I don't do well in lying and hiding. I just -- I'm not saying that's what she does well. I'm not saying that.
R. ALI: I do it very well.
B. KING: But I get really uncomfortable because I don't do well keeping it up. And I'll eventually be exposed. And so for me, it's better just to go ahead and say it. I hate that, because you're right, people do treat you differently.
LEMON: The standards -- the bar is pretty high, I mean, for all of you.
B. KING: I've been messed up because my father is Dr. King. I mean, the kind of man that he was, the kind of man that I'm told about that he was as a husband and a father, unfortunately, I've got high standards.
So it's tough -- it's tough to step, as I say, step to Bernice. That's where it gets tough, because you have to come correct.
LEMON: They have...
B. KING: Yes, because I -- they have to know Dr. King more than "I Have a Dream." They have to know Dr. King because we'll clash. I don't want to spend my entire life educating my husband about my father.
R. ALI: I remember -- I think my dad has a museum and there's a film that you -- it's like a IMAX theater and you sit there and there's three different screens in this beautiful theater and you sit there and it's kind of like a 30-minute biography of my dad and Martin's on there.
It was a political rally and my dad was just inducted, and he was just -- this huge induction, it was a big ordeal, it was a media frenzy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For violating the U.S. elected service laws by refusing to be inducted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
R. ALI: And Martin, they had him at a church speaking and he said, if you don't like his religion, he says you have to at least admire his courage. And I was sitting there saying, Martin Luther King knows Daddy? I mean do you know what I mean? I'm just -- it's just incredible just listening how he's saying them like he just said my dad's name.
That's cool, you know, because I admire your dad.
T. COCHRAN: Yes, I agree with you. I do have a story. My -- when Dr. King was preaching and traveling, he came -- when he would go to Los Angeles, he came to our family's -- family church, Second Baptist. And so my mom and dad went and they got to see him preach.
And then, just a select few, we're invited to have brunch afterwards. And so they got to have brunch with him.
B. KING: Your father?
T. COCHRAN: Yes. Yes, at Second Baptist.
R. ALI: We're all connected, see?
T. COCHRAN: Yes. And it just goes to show you how there's so much -- you know, it's the circle of life.
LEMON (voice over): And the circle of life brings these two -- Attallah Shabazz and Sherry Poitier -- right back to where they begin. Theirs is more than a friendship It's the kinship of legacy.
The three of us spent an afternoon together.
SHABAZZ: Many people don't you know that I watched my father's funeral from her parents' master bedroom, because in the chaos of such trauma, they helped my mother out, a young widow, pregnant, and a lot was on us. And it was an ugly time. It wasn't a car accident. It was, you know, a really challenging time. It means that someone takes your life, someone doesn't like you. I mean the edge, the anguish, and we knew him, so he was delightful to us, he was wonderful to us, but in the context of things, and they took my mother's children up to their home where we stayed for a few weeks.
LEMON (on camera): So I'm looking at both of you, right, and you're sitting here chatting, really close, the both of you.
LEMON: Was -- is it a connection that's like sisters or is it beyond that? What is it?
SHABAZZ: For me, it's beyond that because it's more dimensions to what it is. This is kind of an unconditional existence that has a forever after to it. There's no explanation. We're different but yet it's all in Congress. Never debating in over 40 years of being in each other's lives.
LEMON: Tell me how these two families became one family, how they met...
SHABAZZ: Where are you from?
LEMON: Was it through Hollywood? Was it through...
SHABAZZ: No, not Hollywood.
LEMON: Was it through...
SHABAZZ: New York is a tight-knit place. It's small enough and every -- especially with people of color and, you know, 50 years ago, you wove -- your lives were a tapestry, but they were all within the same borders of that binding ribbon.
LEMON (voice over): Sidney Poitier spoke words other people wrote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
S. POITIER: One minute. You just hold on one minute? I mean, I ain't no nun. I'm nobody you can boss around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yet the humanity he brought to each role was undeniably real.
Malcolm X gave voice to his own deepest convictions.
MALCOLM X: And our people have to be reeducated so that we will know how to do something for ourselves instead of waiting for others to do it for us all the time.
LEMON: And paid with his life.
The actor and the activist, their daughters speak from the heart when DAUGHTERS OF LEGACY" return.
LEMON (voice over): Daughters tend to idolize their fathers. That's one of the happier facts of life.
In the Poitier family, it's an understatement.
S. POITIER: He is amazing when he speaks. And we would ask certain questions, you know? Where did the moon come from or why do we have stars? And he would literally answer every one of those questions, and we would be in awe.
You know when I was younger, I really thought he was god. I really did because where is he getting all these answers from, you know? But it was wonderful to see.
LEMON (on camera): And now?
S. POITIER: And now, and now I see him as not god, but a wonderful, loving man that still has some of the qualities that the Good Lord has.
SHABAZZ: Some of my best conversations have been with her father. You can just dial and he'll engage you.
S. POITIER: Because I have been able to see his own transition in life, when he was younger, filming films, and where he is now, I saw the change within him. And it's absolutely wonderful to see because the change is consistent in who he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virgil, that's a funny name to meet a boy that come from Philadelphia. What do they call you up there?
S. POITIER: They call me Mr. Tibs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: "They call me Mr. Tibs," right? Did you do that as a kid? Did you do it around him or to him?
S. POITIER: Not to him. I -- yes.
LEMON: What did you do behind his back?
S. POITIER: Behind his back?
S. POITIER: Oh, my gosh, nothing, Daddy, I didn't do anything. OK, there's one. In "To Sir with Love," when he was doing the dance, he told everyone that I taught him how to dance. And I was mortified because he was not dancing. I don't know what that was he was doing but I did not teach him that. So in that respect, you know, that was like, Daddy, I need to teach you how to dance.
LEMON: You didn't think he could dance?
S. POITIER: No.
LEMON: You were embarrassed?
S. POITIER: Totally.
S. POITIER: Because he was moving differently.
LEMON: What do you mean differently?
S. POITIER: Just, you know...
LEMON: There was no soul in it?
S. POITIER: No, no, no. You know, Daddy has soul now. It's just that Sherry didn't teach him that dance. That's all it is.
LEMON: Have you taught him to dance since?
S. POITIER: Have I taught him?
S. POITIER: I think actually he -- as I said, he's very consistent. So he probably...
SHABAZZ: Dance the same way.
S. POITIER: Exactly. He probably does.
S. POITIER: But now it's too adorable and cute so, yes.
LEMON: I won't put you on the spot anymore about that.
S. POITIER: OK. Thank you.
LEMON: But I did notice, I did notice, that as you were talking about your dad, you were welling up. Is that...
S. POITIER: Yes.
S. POITIER: Well, because I remember when he was 50 and now I see him as 81. And I see a more mature man and a more just loving man. He's too cute. All of our sisters say, did you see Daddy on "LARRY KING." Was he not adorable? I was, like, yes, can you believe? I think he had jeans on. You know? We're like, he's getting hip, this is wonderful. So, you know, we think he's adorable.
LEMON (voice over): Mushy is the word Malcolm X's daughter used to describe her dad. It's not the first word most Americans would think of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM X: So instead of legislation, in my opinion, it takes education. The whites have to be reeducated so that the racism that they have in their heart can be eliminated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): He was a family man and you didn't see that image. Everyone thought he was sort of this, you know, kind of angry fighter, rebel, and you're going...
SHABAZZ: I saw that image that he was a family man.
I had to learn that, that that was people's impressions. Again as I said, we lived from this side of the threshold, on this side of the house. We know the human being. The other part is who they are publicly. But my warmest continuity in terms of what secures my heart, my nature, my sense of self is how open and mushy and affectionate and nonjudgmental my dad was.
LEMON: Talk to me more about that.
SHABAZZ: It's an intimacy. My relationship with my father -- I'm not a student of Malcolm. I'm not a follower of Malcolm. I'm not a Malcomist. And when I meet people who are feeling like that, they give me the force of how he motivated them. The very same characteristics that may have inspired another for me, were caressing. I had him as a dad. Since I was first, there is certain -- he was my first buddy.
LEMON: Did you ever resent having to share him with the world?
SHABAZZ: No, because the way I have him, I have him. Does that make sense? I have him -- my sisters and I, we have him. Extended family, we have him in a way that is not anyone else's.
GUY (voice-over): Tiffany Cochran has made her own way in the world, in journalism when Johnny Cochran lost his fight with brain cancer. It pains her to think people know him for just one thing.
COCHRAN: We, as a family, we're coming together and we are doing everything we can to make sure people understand that he is so much more than just the O.J. Simpson trial.
LEMON: The burden of legacy when "Daughters of Legacy" returns.
LEMON: When a child grows up and a parent grows old, the roles often change. But fighters are fighters, no matter what.
(on camera): So you've made Parkinson's disease your mission in life?
ALI: Yes, that's correct. I didn't realize until I had my own two children that it is a debilitating illness, that even children need to understand how it works because it is a condition that is not just about the patient. It encompasses the whole family. I have two children. My kids' grandfather, my dad, they want to know what's going on. Why does poppy shake? Why doesn't poppy speak as much? They need an explanation.
LEMON: How are they when they're around their granddad?
ALI: At first, they were like, OK, this guy is cool, he's my granddad. Very excited to be around him because they draw and they color together. They have a connection. My dad loves to draw and color and my kids do. That's the way they communicate.
LEMON: The name of your book is it, what, "I'll Hold Your Hand"?
ALI: "I'll Hold Your Hand So You Won't Fall".
LEMON: Do you do that?
ALI: I do.
LEMON: This is a tough question, do you miss your dad?
COCHRAN: Every day. I can't believe he's not here because there's so many things that I want to tell him that I can't.
LEMON: What do you want to tell him?
COCHRAN: Oh, goodness, I would just tell him that we, as a family, we're coming together and we are doing everything we can to make sure people understand that he is so much more than just the O.J. Simpson trial. What I really want people to know is that his legacy is helping to save lives because we have this wonderful brain tumor research center named after his honor at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
LEMON: What do you want people to know about your father?
COCHRAN: He was a fighter. I never saw anyone fight - except for Muhammad Ali. He was a fighter because he fought brain cancer to the very end.
LEMON: Did you know immediately that you were going to be an advocate for this or did ...
COCHRAN: No, huh-uh. If you had told me I was going to leave news, I would have said, Don, you're out of your mind. This is what I wanted to do my whole life. But I realized that, I remember my dad said you can have more than one dream in your life. You can have a goal, you can achieve it and then you can have another goal. And I feel like I've been blessed to have an opportunity to help people. Not that news isn't helping people. But when you compare the two, it's like, there's really no comparison.
LEMON: If there was one thing, maybe two, that you really wanted to get out there about your dad.
COCHRAN: I think about him walking me down the aisle. He wasn't able to walk. The tumor -- it took away his ability to walk on -- one side of his leg was not operational. But he went to therapy three times a day before my wedding to regain the use of that leg to walk me down the aisle for my wedding.
It was just -- I'd never seen anybody work that hard for any one thing. That just taught me, if you put your mind to anything, you can do it. People were just amazed because after he was diagnosed, he kind of shied away from the public eye. We didn't see him that much. To see him walk me down the aisle, it was very emotional. It just took my breath away.
LEMON: He's a fighter but he's human?
COCHRAN: Yes, and that just showed, this is my daughter. And this is what I want to do. Nothing to do with any courtroom drama, any legal expertise. I'm just a dad and I want to be there for my daughter. A lot of people don't know that story and that's what will always be in my heart, always.
LEMON: You don't have that many memories of your dad because you were so young when he died.
KING: Well, there are a couple of things I can share about my father. One, this great orator who was very charismatic and commanded his audience. One, he was very uncomfortable with walking across stages and platforms. And many times when he had to speak, he would tell my mom, I don't have anything to say. I just don't know what to say to people. And it's interesting because that's the same way I feel. When I get ready to preach or speak, after all the preparation that you do, you still feel inadequate for the task.
And in a sense, that's how he always felt. And she would enlighten me because I would go to her and I would say, I feel like I don't have anything to say. And she said, your dad used to say that.
LEMON (voice-over): Ministry may have been God's plan for Bernice King. It wasn't Bernice's.
KING: I didn't want to go into ministry. Law was like my escape. I went to law school because I wanted to do something where I wouldn't always hear, like your daddy, like your daddy, like your daddy, like your daddy. Like your daddy, like your daddy, like your daddy, like your daddy. And I'm thinking in my mind if i go to law school, i can escape that. That didn't quite work. But I needed something for me.
LEMON (on camera): It was your security blanket? KING: My security blanket, exactly. But even afterwards in ministry, ran, ran (ph) -- I didn't really study my father. Just like she did, I saw films, movies, documentaries. I didn't do it a whole lot because after I understood my call, I didn't want to become him, literally.
LEMON: Why do you think you fought it?
KING: I think it's just natural in anyone. You want your own identity. You don't want to be somebody's whatever. You want to be recognized for you. And so that was the first reason that I fought it. The second reason that I think I fought it is because I don't think I fully understood everything. And it really wasn't until I had a dream -- it must have been shortly after I was ordained in 1990, and my father was in the dream. And he was sitting in the chair kind of like you, and my sister was right next to him standing up, and I was sitting -- no, I was standing. And I was fussing at him. I said, you haven't been in touch with me. And he was just looking at me like, OK. And then Yolanda just blurted out and said, well, he's been in touch with me. And then he looked at her and looked at me and said, yeah. But you'll understand, it's my ministry.
LEMON (voice-over): In May of 2007, Bernice and her brothers, Martin and Dexter, lost their sister, the eldest of the four King children. Yolanda King, a playwright, author and activist died unexpectedly at 51. In May of 2008, Martin and his wife Andrea had a baby girl whom they named Yolanda. Bernice became an aunt for the first time. You think she was excited?
BERNICE: Yolanda, welcome to this new, exciting world. We've been waiting for you for so long.
LEMON: Legacy lives on when "Daughters of Legacy" returns.
LEMON (voice-over): We all need time on the couch now and then, but legacy is meant to be lived, not just talked about.
KING: I was the last baby born in this family 45 years ago. So you are absolutely special.
LEMON: Do you know how to hold a baby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure, I've been doing that all my life.
LEMON: For a few hours, I helped the King family prepare for the newest daughter of legacy.
LEMON: A night out with Tiffany Cochran was an unforgettable lesson in commitment.
(on camera): You have these people here for an event, and the money -- where's the money going?
COCHRAN: The money is going to go directly to the Johnny L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Just the fact that we can say that and that it's open is amazing to me. Because it all started as an idea on a piece of paper.
LEMON (voice-over): Guess who's coming to tea? Sherry Poitier and Attallah Shabazz challenge me to live my dream.
SHABAZZ: If you live long enough. You see yourself coming back to all the things that you always were. If you do that, it will come back around. Mark my words.
LEMON (on camera): I'm going to call you and start talking to you.
SHABAZZ: Thank you for that.
LEMON: Drink your tea.
ALI: Heavyweight champion on the top of your game. You can do anything. He was a singer. He was an actor. He did it all.
LEMON (voice-over): Muhammad Ali, is, was, like nobody else, but there is a family resemblance.
NICO WALSH, GRANDSON OF MUHAMMAD ALI: Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, your hand can't hit what your eye can't see, ramble young man, rumble young man, rumble. Ahh.
LEMON: That was really good.
ALI: That's his grandpa.
BOB WALSH, SON-IN-LAW OF MUHAMMAD ALI: We were friends, and then we started dating. It was about a year.
LEMON: Did you have any clue about what was going on?
WALSH: No. And actually a friend of mine heard it on the radio and called me and told me. I walked in and I looked at her, and she knew immediately that I knew. Who told you? I said, the radio. It was just -- you know, it was like what do you do for an encore?
ALI: Bob happened to be a huge fan, and he was so excited and went to a sports store and bought this plaque of daddy over Liston, I was like, here. I was like how much did you pay? He was like, 350 bucks. I was like, I can get these. He's like, oh, OK.
WALSH: I mean, at first it was just overwhelming because I was such a fan, and being who he is, not just an athlete, but Muhammad Ali.
LEMON: Daughters of legacy continues.
LEMON: These "Daughters of Legacy" had fathers of destiny who spoke in indelible ways.
MALCOLM X, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: We're going to lead black people, fight for black people, fight for the satisfaction of black people. You can't always do it and please white people.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: To gain the right to vote in Selma, Dallas County and all over the state of Alabama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got the gold medal, he was a star and he couldn't eat in his own hometown restaurant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've accepted the fact that I carry the mantle of my father.
M.L. KING: With its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification ...
B. KING: Politicians, for you to shift. They're waiting to see somebody who is not caught up in party tradition.
I had to come into my own, and I had to understand my purpose and my destiny.
Manifest the kingdom of God in the Earth and is not concerned with being loyal to a party, but until you shift, can't nothing happen. Ain't nothing going to change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were ground-breakers.
SIDNEY POITIER, ACTOR: You go into it hoping to do good work. If I say you ought to sit down before you fall down, honey.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He thinks you're going to faint because he's a negro.
SIDNEY POITIER: You hope to do the kind of work that will carry a certain dig any.
SYDNEY POITIER: In my eyes, he's going to live forever.
MUHAMMAD ALI, BOXER: I have wrestled with the alligator, I done tussled with a whale, I done handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail.
L. ALI: His legacy would be that he took his name and his note rye yet and used it to serve people.
SHABAZZ: It wasn't easy, and in spite of any roadblocks ...
X: Even though his stand in the wrong stand and it's an unjust stand.
SHABAZZ: Assassinations, or pink slips, doors slamming in their faces and I'm sure body bent at times.
JOHNNY COCHRAN, ATTORNEY: But I'm not going to argue with you, ladies and gentlemen what I'm going to do is to try and discuss the reasonable inferences which I feel can be drawn from this evidence.
T. COCHRAN: You know, Father's Day, oh, father's day is rough because we were so close. And his birthday, birthdays are a big deal in our family.
SHABAZZ: By the time they showed up in our faces, faith had not been daunted.
B. KING: While I have not done the kinds of things he's done, i understand that the man that ministry makes on someone's life.
M. KING: That ye may be the children of your father.
LEMON (on camera): For these remarkable families, legacy isn't a birth right to brag about. It isn't a yardstick to measure up to. It's love, binding father to daughter, daughter to father, families to communities. In that sense we can all be daughters and sons of legacy. I'm Don Lemon.
SHABAZZ: We're all children of legacy. The difference is you know our parents' names.
ALI: I honestly know I am not going to be as great as my dad because I think honestly God only made a handful of those types of people.
POITIER: He's a disciplinarian type of individual. With six daughters, you have to be.
LEMON: He's a disciplinarian.
POITIER: Yes, with six daughters you have to.
COCHRAN: My dad always said I can defend anyone but I do not expect to defend my children. If you go to jail, you will stay there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look just like your dad. Do you get that all the time? Don't you hate that?
SHABAZZ: We're probably fortunate in that we clearly have parents who had a laying on of hands.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love him for the life he's given all of us. And that of everyone in the world. Because he has given all of himself.
KING: You know who you look like? I said who, who? He said no, I'm not. You look like Dr. King. I said really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you play with them?
SHABAZZ: People said we know your father? Did you realize that? Obviously and very affectionate and very open. Dug his daughters.
ALI: If I could impact just a fraction of the people that my dad has impacted, I'm satisfied with that.