On the day before the 60th memorial of 1963 march on Washington, Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, visited her father’s monument in Washington to reflect on the march and family legacy.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Saturday, January 15, 2022
SPEAKER PELOSI TO JOIN MARTIN LUTHER KING III & FAMILY FOR MLK DAY PRESS CONFERENCE ON VOTING RIGHTS
Sunday, January 19, 2020
If you love the history and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King then the book, The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. must be in your library.
The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Created as a living memorial to the philosophies and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this essential volume includes more than 120 quotations from the greatest civil rights leader’s speeches, sermons, and writings selected and introduced by Coretta Scott King.
BUY THE BOOK
Monday, January 21, 2019
The son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. criticized Vice President Mike Pence for citing the slain civil rights leader to make the case for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Monday, February 05, 2018
Both Bernice King and The King Center took to Twitter to respond to the Dodge/Ram Truck Super Bowl commercial that used Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "The Drum Major Instinct" sermon to sell trucks, although they would have the public believe that the ad was about community service. Read those tweets below:
Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge #SuperBowl commercial.— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) February 5, 2018
Here is #DrumMajorInstinct in its entirety. Learn about #MLK from him. Please listen to/read his speeches, sermons and writings. Understand his comprehensive teachings and his global perspective. Study his nonviolent philosophy. It’s more than a tactic. https://t.co/56fiF8r6iP— Be A King (@BerniceKing) February 5, 2018
Monday, January 15, 2018
Former, and the last real President of the United States Barack Obama released the following statement via Twitter celebrating the Martin Luther King Holiday:
Dr. King was 26 when the Montgomery bus boycott began. He started small, rallying others who believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to change our world for the better. A permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice.
The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), released the following statement in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“While it’s impossible to fill Dr. King’s shoes, the CBC continues to honor his legacy. The policies we promote and the tactics we use are proof. We legislate, debate and convene. We also boycott, sit-in and kneel. “The CBC is because Dr. King was – quite literally. If he hadn’t fought and won so many important battles during the civil rights movement, we wouldn’t be a historic 48 members strong today. “This is why the CBC fought to honor him with a federal holiday, and why we honor his legacy by fighting for equality, justice and the eradication of poverty.”
"And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’" And then Jesus goes on toward the end of that passage to say, "But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
The setting is clear. James and John are making a specific request of the master. They had dreamed, as most of the Hebrews dreamed, of a coming king of Israel who would set Jerusalem free and establish his kingdom on Mount Zion, and in righteousness rule the world. And they thought of Jesus as this kind of king. And they were thinking of that day when Jesus would reign supreme as this new king of Israel. And they were saying, "Now when you establish your kingdom, let one of us sit on the right hand and the other on the left hand of your throne."
Now very quickly, we would automatically condemn James and John, and we would say they were selfish. Why would they make such a selfish request? But before we condemn them too quickly, let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance. That same desire for attention, that same desire to be first. Of course, the other disciples got mad with James and John, and you could understand why, but we must understand that we have some of the same James and John qualities. And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life.
And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse. Sigmund Freud used to contend that sex was the dominant impulse, and Adler came with a new argument saying that this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this drum major instinct.
And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major instinct.
Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don't believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don't deserve it and even if they don't believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct.
...Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who's in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man.
....And not only does this thing go into the racial struggle, it goes into the struggle between nations. And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn't happen to stop this trend, I'm sorely afraid that we won't be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. If somebody doesn't bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody's going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don't let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.
But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.
God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. 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.
But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don’t play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." And that can happen to America. Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.
But let me rush on to my conclusion, because I want you to see what Jesus was really saying. What was the answer that Jesus gave these men? It's very interesting. One would have thought that Jesus would have condemned them. One would have thought that Jesus would have said, "You are out of your place. You are selfish. Why would you raise such a question?"
But that isn't what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, "Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you're going to be my disciple, you must be." But he reordered priorities. And he said, "Yes, don't give up this instinct. It's a good instinct if you use it right. It's a good instinct if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do."
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, "Now brethren, I can't give you greatness. And really, I can't make you first." This is what Jesus said to James and John. "You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared."
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.
......Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth......
[and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.]
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
The daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. stood beside her father's newly unveiled statue Monday, just a few blocks from where he grew up, handing out hugs and telling each well-wisher: "It's about time."
The statue paying tribute to King made its public debut Monday on the Georgia Capitol grounds in front of around 800 people including Gov. Nathan Deal, many other state political leaders and several members of the King family. The sculpture's installation comes more than three years after Georgia lawmakers endorsed the project.
"Forty-nine years ago when my father was assassinated, he was the most hated man in America. Today, he is one of the most loved men in the world," the Rev. Bernice King said of her father, who was slain in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
A replica of the nation's Liberty Bell tolled three times before the 8-foot (2.4-meter) bronze statue was unveiled on the 54th anniversary of King's "I have a dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington. The sculpture depicts King in mid-stride, as his left arm holds an overcoat while grasping a batch of papers.
"Today, we as the sons and daughters of former slaves and former slave owners are here to witness the unveiling of that statue," Bernice King said. "It is a glorious and grand day in the state of Georgia and in the United States of America and all over the world."
Monday, August 15, 2016
Martin Luther King Jr.'s heirs have agreed to end their legal fight over who owns the slain civil rights leader's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal, according to a court document filed on Monday, but did not disclose if the item will be sold.
A trial to settle the years-long dispute over the medal had been set to start in Atlanta on Monday. It would have pitted King's two sons against his surviving daughter, who were at odds over whether to sell the medal.
The three siblings serve as directors of a corporation formed to manage the estate of King, who had no will when he was assassinated in 1968 by a white supremacist in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King III and Dexter King voted in January 2014 to sell the medal and a Bible their father carried during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Bernice King objected to a sale, calling the heirlooms "sacred" to the family.
Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney had ordered the items to be kept in a court-controlled safe deposit box pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
The judge on Monday signed an order in which the parties asked for the suit to be dismissed and agreed the keys to the box should be given to Martin Luther King III, who serves as chairman of the estate board.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
In a new memoir, "My Time with the Kings: A Reporter's Recollections of Martin, Coretta and the Civil Rights Movement," retired Associated Press reporter Kathryn Johnson describes civil rights flashpoints she covered in the 1960s and details her close relationship with the movement's leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and his family.
Kathryn Johnson covered the Civil Rights movement across the South in the 1960s, often risking her own safety to observe first-hand the events of this great era. Her stories took her from witnessing the integration of the University of Georgia by dressing as a student, to hiding unobserved under a table near an infamous schoolhouse door in Alabama, to marching with the massive crowd from Selma to Montgomery.
Johnson, one of the only female reporters on the scene, threw herself into charged situations with a determination to break the news no matter what. Including never-before-published photos, her personal account of this period is a singular addition to the story of the Civil Rights movement.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Planning is underway to place a Liberty Bell replica atop Stone Mountain near Atlanta as a memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that recalls a famous line from his "I Have a Dream" speech, officials say.
The planned tribute to the late civil rights activist would broaden the story told by the Georgia state park, long home to a giant carving of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, said Bill Stephens, chief executive of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.
"Two years ago, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's speech, a small group of Georgia's civil rights leaders met atop the mountain to ring a bell," Stephens said in an email to journalists. "This began thought and discussions which evolved into the present concept of a Freedom Bell."
Sunday, January 18, 2015
“Now That He Is Safely Dead” is the poignant poem that was written by black poet and musician Carl Wendell Hines soon after Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965. The poem has also been appropriately associated with the assassination of the anti-war activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of leading the nonviolent struggle in America for black liberation, economic justice for the poor, and peace on earth.
“Now that he is safely dead,
Let us praise him.
Build monuments to his glory.
Sing Hosannas to his name.
Dead men make such convenient heroes.
For they cannot rise to challenge the images
That we might fashion from their lives.
It is easier to build monuments
Than to build a better world.
So now that he is safely dead,
We, with eased consciences will
Teach our children that he was a great man,
Knowing that the cause for which he
Lived is still a cause
And the dream for which he died is still a dream.
A dead man’s dream.”
— Carl Wendell Hines- A Dead Mans Dream
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
During an interview with Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who helped lead the 1965 voting rights march in Selma, Ala., that became known as “Bloody Sunday,” said Ava DuVernay’s new movie “Selma” is “long overdue.” He als talks abut other aspects of the movie as well as watching himself being portrayed on film. Listen to the full interview below:
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. has sued the late civil rights leader's daughter over possession of his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal and a Bible used by President Barack Obama during his second inauguration.
In a suit filed in Georgia on Friday, the estate, chaired by King's elder son, Martin Luther King III, said Bernice King "has secreted and sequestered the property." The estate is seeking an emergency court order forcing her to return the items.
Bernice King said her brothers, Martin and Dexter King, told her last month that they wanted to sell their father's medal and personal Bible to a private buyer, a move she opposes.
"While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them is extremely troubling," she said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our Father MUST be turning in his grave."
Bernice King is chief executive officer of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a nonprofit group in Atlanta formed by King's widow after his 1968 assassination.
She said the items have been under her care in recent years and have remained in "a safe and secure location" since her father's assassination and the death of her mother, Coretta Scott King, in 2006.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Mary Scanlon had no idea a $3 purchase from a Goodwill store in Phoenix would turn out to be a rare link to the civil rights movement's most revered leader.
Last April, Scanlon was at the thrift store when she spotted a pile of 35 vintage reel-to-reel tapes, including one labeled with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s name. Despite the moldy and torn packaging, she snapped up all of them.
"I didn't really necessarily have any expectation that this tape would be rare," Scanlon said.
Arizona State University archivists have found that tape is the only known recording of speeches the slain civil rights leader gave at ASU and at a Phoenix church in June 1964. The hour-long audio has since been digitized and is now available for listening on ASU's website through June 30.
Monday, January 20, 2014
President Barack Obama honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of service Monday by helping a soup kitchen prepare its daily meals and a host of administration figures fanned out across the capital to appear at holiday events.President Obama took his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha to DC Central Kitchen, which is a few minutes away from the White House by presidential motorcade.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
As part of it's choose nonviolence campaign the King Center has asked that no shots be fired on the King Holiday. Read their statement and watch a short video from Martin Luther King's daughter Bernice A. King below:
King Center statement:
We would like for you to #choosenonviolence in a special way on January 20, 2014 #MLKDay. The King Center calls for there to be "no shots fired on this day". This requires all of us to be intentional about abstaining from gun violence, violence in the media, physical violence, and violence in speech. We want to see a total ceasefire in every community, every state, across the United States and around the world. Let us know your joys and struggles today at www.choosenonviolence.org