Bernice King Reflects on Her Father Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy


Bernice King Discusses Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

Rev. Bernice King reflects on her father’s illustrious legacy.

Kevin Frazier of ET spoke with the late Dr.’s youngest child.

Martin Luther King Jr. to reflect on her father’s life, her work with The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and the 60th anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech, which will be celebrated next year.

On January 1st,

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is January 17th.

Day, a “holiday” that Bernice admits she and her siblings still struggle with nearly 54 years after their father’s death.

“Unfortunately, I’m wired to be task-oriented first, so I can’t go through the motions all day.”

But I’m not always aware of what’s going on in my emotions,” she admits.

“I believe it would hinder my ability to be effective if I did, because it is still difficult.”

You have to understand, we haven’t been able to ‘bury’ our parents.

I work with the institutions where they are interred in side-by-side crypts, so [their presence]is palpable on a daily basis.

People continue to refer to my father in almost every issue in the universe, so they’re still very much alive.”

Bernice explains that rather than dwelling on the past, she prefers to concentrate on what she is accomplishing in her father’s name, despite the fact that she is no longer on the frontlines of activism as she once was.

She says she focuses on “the message, the education, and the advocacy,” and says that if an issue requires her presence on the front lines, “you know you’re dealing with something for real.”

Bernice turns 60 next year, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of her father’s famous speech.

For the 58-year-old, the combination is a potent one.

“I’m not sure how that celebration would go, but I see my role and responsibilities as bringing some of the things he mentioned to fruition,” she says.

She quotes her father’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from 1964, in which he discussed the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence becoming a subject of study and serious experimentation.

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Bernice King Reflects on the Legacy of Her Father Martin Luther King Jr. (Exclusive)

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