The legacy of civil rights champion Martin Luther King Jr. lives on thanks in part to his children who are carrying on his work.

For almost five decades now, Martin Luther King III has carried on his father's mission to fight racial inequality in the United States.

He was recognized for his work on Tuesday night at the opening of the 11th edition of the Montreal Black Film Festival, which gave him its Humanitarian Award for 2015.

"My father and mother dedicated their lives what they called the triple evil of poverty, racism and militarism and violence. A lot of the issues were around race," said King.

Americans looked to him when the United States was shaken by the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of a young black man by police, and again when a gunman entered a church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine black worshippers.

"Hate isn't going to win, love is going to win, and as a result a tectonic shift occurred around the nation, so a symbol called the Confederate flag, that had been flown in South Carolina and all around the country was removed," said king.

And just like his father, King out the same goal of provoking change through peaceful means.

"When we truly understand as human beings that we have far more in common than we do apart, then we can truly begin to appreciate and the reality is many of us don't know others in terms of ethnic groups," he said.