Dexter Scott King, the youngest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, was fondly remembered as the guardian of his family’s legacy at a memorial service on Saturday, Feb. 10, the Associated Press reports.
Held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where his father and grandfather Martin Luther King Sr., once co-pastored together, many paid tribute to Dexter King including his wife Leah Weber King.
“You, my love, were born a King, beautifully sculpted with the physical traits and intellect of the most revered and impactful man of our time, your beloved father. In addition to that, you held the grace, talent, and steadfastness of your beautiful mother,” Weber King said in her speech.
“You were, indeed, what most would consider and what I considered a man who had it all,” she continued. “But instead of devoting your life to how these riches could advance your personal aspirations and fill your ego, you devoted your life to how all of these riches could advance the cause and legacy of your father, your mother, and your family.”
Martin Luther King III, Dexter’s older brother, said he was welcomed home by their mother, father, and sister Yolanda Denice King, who died in 2007 at 51. Coretta Scott King died in 2006 at age 78.
“He’s run his race, now it’s up to us,” King III said, and he promised those in attendance that he and his sister the Rev. Bernice A. King “would continue the family’s legacy.”
“We will one day achieve what Mom and Dad talked about, the beloved community,” King III said. “We aren’t even in the vicinity today, but we will get there.”
Legendary musician Stevie Wonder was also at the memorial and sang “They Won’t Go When I Go.”
During the service, a snippet of a speech that Dexter gave when assumed became chairman of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
“When people ask, ‘What does Dexter want?’ Dexter wants to serve, Dexter has to serve because the triple evils of poverty, racism, and violence are still among us.”
As the former president of the King Estate, he was known to work diligently to protect the family’s intellectual property.
“Dexter was ahead of his time,” Bernice King said of her brother’s work during a press conference in January. “That’s Dexter Scott King’s legacy.”
After a three-year battle with prostate cancer, Dexter Scott King passed away on Jan. 22, 2024, at his home in Malibu, Cali.
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