On this day, our nation remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a man who most of us know by the legacy he left for our nation. It is because of him and his colleagues that we have more accessible voting, Jim Crow laws and culture have been abolished, and we have the privilege of living in a much different United States than the one of 1965. As his strides towards justice brought hope and rights to many in this nations, he left an even greater impression on those closest to him. A father of four children, Dr. King’s example is one that his children have closely followed throughout their own lives. This includes his youngest daughter, Dr. Bernice King.
Bernice was only five years old when her father was assassinated. The idea of losing a parent is a crippling fear for some and a jagged reality for others. Although she was confronted with this devastating tragedy at such a young age, Bernice still clearly possesses the same passion as both of her parents for justice. She has dedicated her education and career to fighting for freedoms and equity across the United States.
Dr. Bernice King received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Spelman College, a historically black women’s college.. Dr. King is one of the many notable alumae that have graduated from the institution. Afterwards she moved on to pursue her Master of Divinity and Doctorate Law degree from Emory University. These massive achievements are reason enough for Dr. King to be a woman that others aspire to be like, but her accomplishments do not stop here. Like her father, Dr. Bernice King is a minister. She entered into ministry as a teenager and continues to walk in that calling today. In her sermons, she delivers truth and hope to those listening. The impact of Christ in her life is evident in her words.
Not only is she in ministry, but Dr. King is now the CEO of the King Center; the organization created by Coretta Scott King to continue the work that her and her husband started. Dr. Bernice King’s work at the center strives to carry on the legacy that began with her parents.
As we celebrate this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I encourage you to reflect on two things. First, take the time to reflect on all the progress and strides for change that we have made throughout the history of the United States and how we can continue to do so. Consider the ways in which you have been called to create change in our world. Dr. Bernice King comes from a family of people who have done bold things for the sake of God’s kingdom. How will you also be a part of this legacy? Secondly, think of one person in your life who has been a positive influence in your life. If you are able to, take the time to thank them today. How will you continue to carry out their legacy of kindness, goodness, and faithfulness to the those around you.
Interested in learning more? Research for this post came from:
- Biography.com - Berence King Biography
- The Atlantic: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Daughter Embraces His Hope for the Future
- The King Institute, Standford, Encyclopedia - Bernice Albertine King