Black ExperienceBlack HistoryStacy M. Brown

Bernice King Continues Father’s Mission of Freedom and Justice for All

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. undoubtedly remains the face of the 1960s civil rights movement, and perhaps the most revered black leaders in American history.

His life and legacy again are celebrated even as a new decade begins, and part of King’s legacy will always remain his children.

While sons Dexter and Martin III have worked to carry on his legacy, the icon’s daughter Bernice has led the mission of The King Center in Atlanta.

At the Center, King’s purpose of preparing global citizens to create a more just, humane and peaceful world through nonviolence continues.

A second daughter, Yolanda, died in 2007.

King also keeps her father’s legacy and words alive through regular social media posts that include many of his inspirational quotes.

“I never intend to adjust myself to injustice,” King wrote, quoting her father, in a recent post accompanied by a video of Dr. King. “I’m proud to be maladjusted.”

Another recent post by King that featured a photo of both Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, marching in the South was accompanied by the late leader’s quote:

“Our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power so that the government cannot elude our demands. We must develop, from strength, a situation in which the government finds it wise and prudent to collaborate with us.”

Many of Bernice King’s social media posts using her father’s words double as timely messages.

Shortly after President Trump announced a strike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, King unleashed another of her father’s comments.

“We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation,” she wrote, quoting her father’s words from the 1960s when the Vietnam War raged.

A connector, communicator, community builder and CEO of The King Center, Bernice King is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law Degrees from Emory University.

She has also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

Through her work at the King Center, she has continued to educate youth about her father’s nonviolent principles.

In 2012, she implemented an annual N.O.W. Encounter Summer Youth Camp, which has trained youth from as far as Cyprus, Greece.

King spearheaded the global events that took place in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 2013, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and her father’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Additionally, and in the spirit of her father, King was instrumental in helping Aboriginals and others in Vancouver, Canada, understand the importance of forgiveness, unconditional love, and reconciliation when she spoke to a crowd of more than 75,000 people.

In addressing the rising number of hate crimes, King again turned to the words of her father: “Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?”

For more on Bernice King and The King Center, go to thekingcenter.org.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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