Martin Luther King's daughter, Rev. Bernice King, said Sunday that despite years of planning, fundraising, an earthquake and a hurricane, perhaps it was no accident that the memorial to the slain civil rights leader was not dedicated on the anniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech as originally planned. It may have been God’s way, she said, of wanting the world to look at the other things that he fought for, such as the eradication of poverty.
“Perhaps the postponement was a divine interruption to remind us of the King who moved us beyond the dream of racial justice to the action and work of economic justice,” she said. “Perhaps God wanted to remind us that 43 years ago, when our father was taken away from us he was in the midst of starting a poor people’s campaign, where he was galvanizing people from all walks of life to converge on this nation’s capitol and stay here and occupy this place until there was change in the economic system and a better distribution of wealth. Perhaps God wanted us to move beyond the dream into action.”
As she did in August, King acknowledged the legacy and sacrifices of her mother, Coretta Scott King, who worked through her grief to raise four children and ensure that her husband’s words and principles were institutionalized. She said that in many respects, her mother paved the way for “a man who was one of the most hated” in 1968 to become the “most revered man in the world.”
“Thank you, Mama, for your dedication and thank you, Mama, for your sacarifice, and we are glad to have shared our family with the world so it can be a better place,” King said.
Martin Luther King, III, in his remarks, said that while it’s wonderful to have monuments, streets, schools and other things named after his father, people tend to focus on Martin Luther King the idol, but instead should place greater emphasis on his ideals.
“Let’s not forget or confuse what he stood for and died for: love, peace equality jobs, nonviolence, decent housing and an end to war,” said King, who added that the occupy movements taking place in the United States and around the world are examples of the kinds of action that emulate his life’s work.
(Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)