Yolanda King, the daughter of Arndrea Waters King and Martin Luther King III, said her generation joined others in the fight against systemic racism and would not be left out of the struggle for justice.
She spoke at the National Action Networks’ “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” event in Washington. The march was held on the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Her father served as one of the organizers.
“My generation has already taken to the streets – peacefully and with masks and social distancing – to protest racism,” she said, during the event, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered via livestream. “And I want to ask the young people here to join me in pledging that we have only just begun to fight – and that we will be the generation that moves from me to we.”
The younger King spoke two years ago at the March for Our Lives rally also in D.C.
She said she did not know at the time that 2020 would hold a pandemic, continued attacks on voting rights, an economic crisis, climate change and the killings of Black people by police.
Credit: Alex Brandon
“But great challenges – produce great generations. We have mastered the selfie and Tik Tok…..Now we must master ourselves,” she said to cheers from the thousands of people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial where masks most wore and where volunteers passed out hand sanitizer and encouraged social distancing.
Fifty-seven years ago her grandfather delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
“Less than a year before he was assassinated, my grandfather predicted this very moment,” she said. “He said that we were moving into a new phase of the struggle. The first phase was for civil rights and the new phase is a struggle for genuine equality.”
She said marchers cannot forget Montgomery, the Freedom rides, the sit-in movement and Selma.
She vowed to fulfill her grandfather’s dream.
“Papa King – we won’t forget,” she said.