mcloudyn.png
Monday June 14th, 2021 2:22AM

Bernice King: Racial justice activism must focus on strategy

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s youngest daughter said she's afraid American society is unraveling, telling a Christian radio network on Thursday that "I don’t know what’s going to happen ultimately to democracy."

But Dr. Bernice King also said she is determined to be part of the solution, working to transform minds and help unite a divided nation.

“There are a number of bridge builders out there, I’m one of them, and we are determined to ensure that we do not lose our humanity,” King said.

Bernice King joined former U.N. Ambassador, congressman and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and several other panelists in a webinar hosted by the Alliance for Christian Media about the legacy of Dr. C.T. Vivian, a civil rights strategist and mentor to many more prominent figures of the movement. Vivian died last July at the age of 95, hours before the death of Rep. John Lewis, at 80.

Bernice King's father had called Vivian “the greatest preacher who ever lived,” a fierce and influential advocate for social justice. Panelists also described Vivian's optimism and humility, and his desire to see the best in other people, even if it was a racist Alabama sheriff who prevented Black people from registering to vote.

But when asked what advice Vivian would have given to Black Lives Matter protesters today, Bernice King was blunt: “Respect the power of strategy.”

“We aren’t stopping to strategize, organize, mobilize and put together a strategy," she said. King and Vivian knew that “the power of nonviolence is the most potent weapon that any people who are oppressed can use,” but they also realized that people had to see success to believe in it.

“Daddy understood that people were really tired and incensed at what was happening, but we weren’t getting any victories," she said. “He brought to this movement a strategy of nonviolence that brought people to victories,” first with the boycott that ended segregation on city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, and then in other carefully planned acts of civil disobedience across the South.

“What we need now is some victories,” she said, pointing to the conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd. “It was a small piece. We need more victories.”

Young, 89, also shared his fears, saying “I’m probably more concerned right now than I’ve ever been before in all my life.”

“I’ve never had such anxiety about Congress, or the presidency or the Supreme Court. Even during the movement, we thought we could trust John Kennedy. We knew Lyndon Johnson was a Southerner who understood race,” Young said. “There was always a very realistic approach to social change, and we were always optimistic."

Now, Young said, he prays that America's democracy will overcome its challenges.

“I think we are all deeply concerned; I’m very troubled myself, but not without hope," Bernice King interjected. “It's part of the process of change and transformation, that friction is always going to happen. But there's always a critical mass that eventually emerges."

“There is a God in this universe — this is what pulled the movement together — and it’s the same God that C.T. Vivian, John Lewis and all the rest believed in,” she said. “They believed that if we persist, if we’re hopeful, if we do the necessary work,” we'll succeed.

King also referred to her late mother in an effort to lighten the conversation, saying “Coretta Scott King told me the darkest hour is just before the dawn. The only thing I wish I'd asked her is, just how dark is it going to have to get?”

Other speakers included C.T. Vivian's son Al and Steve Fiffer, who wrote Vivian's posthumously published memoir, “It's in the Action.” CNN anchor Don Lemon moderated the panel.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bernice King: Racial justice activism must focus on strategy
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter says she’s afraid American society is unraveling
10:04PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Illinois lifting capacity limits for businesses
Illinois is lifting all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues Friday, nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic
9:24PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Korean adoptee films pain of mother-child separations
Bringing her camera to a home for unwed mothers on South Korea’s Jeju island, Sun Hee Engelstoft anticipated an empowering story about young women keeping their babies
9:22PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Small Minneapolis event eyes Klobuchar to help stop Line 3
About 100 people gathered at a Minneapolis park before marching to Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s downtown office to promote shutting down reconstruction an aging oil pipeline in northern Minnesota
7:58PM ( 2 hours ago )
Judge rejects effort to return MLB All-Star Game to Georgia
A Manhattan judge has rejected an attempt to force Major League Baseball to return next month's All-Star Game to Atlanta
7:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fight over Canadian oil rages on after pipeline's demise
The Keystone XL is dead after a 12-year attempt to build the oil pipeline
7:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Hawks, Nuggets hope home court provides edge in semifinals
The Atlanta Hawks will attempt to extend their 13-game home winning streak when they play the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal
5:30PM ( 4 hours ago )
Neo-Nazi group members linked to attack plot plead guilty
Two neo-Nazi group members whose talk of planning an attack at a Virginia gun rights rally was secretly recorded by the FBI have pleaded guilty to gun charges and obstruction of justice
5:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
Atlanta midfielder Emerson Hyndman tears knee ligament
Atlanta midfielder Emerson Hyndman tore a ligament in his right knee during training and needs surgery
4:06PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
The Latest: Illinois lifting capacity limits for businesses
Illinois is lifting all capacity limits on bars, restaurants, businesses and other venues Friday, nearly 15 months after the first stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic
9:24PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Korean adoptee films pain of mother-child separations
Bringing her camera to a home for unwed mothers on South Korea’s Jeju island, Sun Hee Engelstoft anticipated an empowering story about young women keeping their babies
9:22PM ( 57 minutes ago )
NY Times: Trump DOJ investigated House Dems, seized data
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats are calling for an investigation after The New York Times reported Thursday that the Justice Department under President Donald Trump seized communications data of members of the House intelligence committee
9:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
Federal investigators to examine deadly Phoenix tanker crash
Federal safety officials say they will investigate a crash in which authorities say a milk tanker going too fast collided with seven passenger vehicles on a Phoenix freeway, killing four people and injuring at least nine
8:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
Medicare copays for new Alzheimer's drug could reach $11,500
A new report says the $56,000 Alzheimer’s drug approved this week would raise Medicare premiums broadly
8:33PM ( 1 hour ago )