On Sunday, his son spoke at a Chicago church.
Fr. Michael Pfleger said he was blessed that Martin Luther King III agreed to come to St. Sabina Catholic Church.
King encouraged people to get engaged in their communities, their country in election and their schools.
He told the congregation that sometimes there is too much emphasis placed on his father as an idol and not his ideals.
"I'm sick and tired of people singing about King, rapping about King, even using King to justify policies that we all know he would be against as opposed to embracing the ideals of King. Trying to love your neighbor, like King. Trying to help the poor like King," Martin Luther King III said.
Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers strike.
On Sunday night, Martin Luther King III attended the Dr. King Legacy Apartments Gala and delivered the keynote speech.
Forty-five years ago, Dr. King came to Chicago to highlight the poor living conditions of African-Americans in the north.
During that time he lived at 1550 S. Hamlin, in the North Lawndale community.
The site is now home to the newly built King Legacy Apartments, which consist of 45 affordable housing units and several retail spaces.
King's son called the building a "wonderful steppingstone toward fulfilling" his father's dream in Chicago. A ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of the apartments was set for Monday.