Although America has recognized Martin Luther King Jr. with a federal holiday for over 40 years, his youngest daughter said on Monday that the country hasn’t fully embraced and put the values he taught into practice.
The Rev. Bernice King, who is in charge of The King Center in Atlanta, claimed that authorities, particularly politicians, frequently devalue her father’s legacy by transforming him into a “pleasant and convenient King” who offers simple platitudes.
“We enjoy quoting King during and after the vacation. At the memorial service held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her father had served as a pastor, she said, “But then we refuse to live King 365 days of the year.
The center’s yearly service at Ebenezer was the highlight of the 38th federal King holiday celebrations. King would have turned 94 on Sunday. He was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 while fighting for better pay and working conditions for the city’s sanitation workers.
Bernice King lamented institutional and individual racism, economic and health care injustices, police violence, a military international order, rigid immigration rules, and the climate disaster in a voice that rose and fell in cadences reminiscent of her father’s. She expressed her “exhaustion, exasperation, and, frankly, disappointment” at hearing her father’s words about justice being referenced so frequently and seeing “such little progress” being made in solving the most serious issues facing society.
He was a prophet sent by God to this country and even the entire world to lead and warn people. Bernice King once stated, “A prophetic word calls for an inconvenience because it pushes us to change our hearts, minds, and conduct. Dr. King, the uncomfortable King, makes some demands of us to alter our behavior.
The National Action Network, a group founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, organized an MLK brunch in Washington, D.C., where President Joe Biden spoke. As the youth director of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s anti-poverty project, Sharpton began his career as a civil rights activist when he was in his teens.
Biden reiterated ideas from a speech he gave on Sunday at Ebenezer at Sen. Raphael Warnock’s invitation. Sen. Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer and the first Black senator of Georgia who just won re-election to a full term.