As the country observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, the civil rights icon’s daughter is challenging people to continue his fight to achieve what he called “a beloved community.”
While King was just 39 years old when an assassin took his life in Memphis in 1968, his legacy of change through nonviolent protest is as relevant as ever, Dr. Bernice King said at a news conference announcing events to commemorate the holiday.
As she celebrates what would have been her father’s 91st birthday this month, she said the world is in desperate need to follow his example, noting that the United States is in the throes of a gun-violence epidemic, has come to the brink of war with Iran and is enduring a crisis in Washington that has led to the impeachment of the president.
“Considering the current condition of our collective conscious and the pressing need to work toward the ‘beloved community,’ it is fitting that this year’s King holiday observance theme is, ‘King 2020 Vision — The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now’,” she announced at the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, standing in front of a blown-up photo of her father and mother, Coretta Scott King.
The theme for the holiday is derived from King’s 1967 book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
Quoting from her father’s book, Bernice King said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted by the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.”
“We don’t want to be too late,” she said.
Bernice King encouraged people to spend the day being of service to their communities and embracing her father’s “teachings in creating a more just, peaceful and humane world.”
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