Martin Luther King III: we have to find ways to coexist

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Decades after late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equality, Americans find themselves taking up a similar fight. Nationwide protests erupted following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Millions of Americans gathered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate against racial injustice.

Dr. King’s family has lived out his legacy, continuing his fight for freedom, justice and equality for all. At a time when the nation is divided, his eldest son, Martin Luther King III, tells NewsChannel 6 his father would encourage the Americans to “find ways” to agree.

“He would want us to be a United States of America because he really did teach us to disagree without being disagreeable,” King explains. “That’s the kind of spirit and culture we need right now, especially as we are approaching the inauguration of a new president.”

As the country enters a new year and prepares for a new presidential adminsitration, King says he is “confident” Americans can make progress toward equality.

“I do not believe we are going to go backwards. People have to be willing to move and engage.”

King admits achieving equality will not happen overnight. However, he is confident younger generations will play a major role. King’s 12-year-old daughter, Yolanda, has helped him realize that.

“In my perspective, we, as adults, should have already created the climate so our children would not have to be waging these battles. Yolanda has assured me and the nation that her generation is not going to tolerate this. My hope is that long before she is an adult, these issues are far behind us, and we’re looking at new issues.”

As the country honors the life of his father, King hopes Americans carry out his legacy every day of the year, not just over the holiday weekend.

“The goal is for us to engage in service activities all throughout the year — 365 days a year. If each of us does a little something, I guarantee we will create a much better community, nation and world.”

Full interview

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