What is the civil rights agenda for 21st century?

Daughter of M.L. King, Jr. says we must arm today’s youth for the future

D. Kevin McNeir | 6/5/2013, 10:56 a.m.
The youngest daughter of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Bernice King, issued a challenge to ...
Some of Miami-Dade County’s leaders of the past and present enjoy the CRB’s 50th anniversary luncheon. Pictured are: Retha Boone (l-r, top), guest, Marleine Bastien, Vivilora Perkins-Smith, George Yap and several other friends. Trailblazer Award winner Thelma Gibson is seated bottom right. —Miami Times photo/D. Kevin McNeir

King made frequent references to the work and words of her late father, Dr. King.

“As Daddy once said, ‘we must find a way to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish as fools,’” she said. “That doesn’t mean we have to always agree. If we did, I’d be worried. But in our disagreements, it helps to consider who we are and in what we believe. Where does the civil rights movement go from here? I think my father helped to address that in one of his last books, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” He believed, as I do, that genuine community will only come when we are willing to embrace the unenforceable. I am troubled when I look at our nation and our world because we have not done a good job of creating a society that is healthy for the next generation.

We must make a hard left or a hard right because our world is spiraling out of control. We are leaving a legacy of wreckage and giving the next generation a mortgaged future. It’s time to move beyond racial differences. After all, our DNA differs by only one percent. To survive, we must reach across the table, despite the obstacles, and recognize that we are interrelated — that in God’s eye we are one.”