Archive for the ‘I Have A Dream’ Category

They Had a Dream: The Legacy of Granddaddy King – Father of Martin Luther King

Friday, June 19th, 2015

A GUEST BLOG BY KEVIN BURKE, LSW

King Collage w Names

“Kevin has been a source of insight regarding the impact of and connection to abortion and the role of the father figure in the life of a little girl who grows up to become a mother. I hope that his blog will bless many with the same insight with which Kevin has blessed me.” – Dr. Alveda C. King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life

The King Family shared in a special way in the legacy of triumph and tragedy that marked the Civil Rights movement in the tumultuous decades of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is widely known that their non-violent, prayerful resistance was a cornerstone of the strategy to dismantle the systemic structures of racism and violence that plagued so many African Americans. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and his brother A.D. King were very visible leaders of this movement. They embodied some of the best qualities of manly and fatherly leadership in their struggle for the civil rights of all Americans, especially the weakest and powerless in our society.

Where did these men find the courage and develop those Gospel-rooted values that led them to be such powerful advocates for the oppressed?

A lesser known part of the King Family legacy is the witness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. Many years before the Civil Rights movement and his son Martin’s famous “I have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Granddaddy King was already a strong advocate for the vulnerable and powerless. Thirteen years before that iconic speech in Washington D.C., Granddaddy King also had his own very special dream.

Dr. Alveda King is the daughter of A.D. King and Niece of Martin Luther King. Alveda gives us a glimpse into the heart and soul of her grandfather:

In 1950 my mother was pregnant with me and scared. She was looking for a doctor to perform a D&C abortion procedure. Granddaddy King told my mother:

“They (Planned Parenthood) are lying to you. That is not a lump of flesh. That’s my granddaughter. I saw her in a dream three years ago. She has bright skin and bright red hair and she’s going to bless many people.”

Research confirms that a father or grandfather’s reaction to an unplanned pregnancy is a significant influence on the mother’s decision to parent or abort the child.(1) Thankfully Granddaddy King stood up and defended the life of his unborn grandchild. Granddaddy and Alveda’s father promised to help her through that first unexpected pregnancy and Alveda was born to A. D. and Naomi Ruth Barber King on January 22, 1951. Over the years, Alveda’s mother recovered from her anger, finding grace in her relationship with Jesus Christ.

Years later the King family would lead millions of African Americans to great victories over the forces of racism. Granddaddy King’s famous sons would peacefully but powerfully advocate for the poor and oppressed African Americans whose civil rights, economic opportunity and God given dignity were being aborted by the institutionalized evil of racism.

Yet they also suffered a number of causalities. A.D. King died in a suspicious and tragic drowning accident a year after the assassination of his brother Martin Luther King. The death of Alveda’s father inflicted a deep wound on Alveda’s heart and soul at the same time the sexual revolution and abortion rights were in rapid ascent. Alveda shares:

During those years of my life, I made some scared and angry decisions, including having two of what was presented to me as “safe and legal abortions.” The first procedure was an involuntary abortion. The pro -abortion philosophy was empowering physicians to use their considerable influence to advocate for abortion. Sometimes they simply took matters in their own hands and boldly played God with vulnerable women and their unborn children.

Shortly before the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 I went to my doctor to ask why my monthly cycle had not resumed after the birth of my son. I did not ask for and did not want an abortion. The doctor said, “You certainly don’t need to be pregnant…let’s take a look.” He proceeded to perform a painful examination which resulted in a gush of blood and tissue emanating from my womb. He explained that he had performed a “local D and C.”

Sadly, the rise of pro abortion feminism was empowering men to embrace values that were radically different than those modeled by Granddaddy King and his famous sons. Rather than defending and protected the powerless entrusted to their care, men were being corrupted by the philosophy and practice of abortion rights and the rhetoric of choice.

Just a few short years after Martin Luther King was assassinated for his mission to protect and empower those oppressed by racism, black fathers were now participating in the death of their unborn black children; the same children that Dr Martin Luther King dreamed would one day live in a country “where children…will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (Speech of MLK 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.)

Alveda: I never was able to process the trauma from that forced abortion. Soon after the Roe v. Wade decision, I became pregnant again. There was adverse pressure and threat of violence from the baby’s father now that abortion was legal and readily accessible. The ease and convenience provided through Roe v. Wade made it too easy for me to make the fateful and fatal decision to abort our child.

Granddaddy King saved Alveda’s life in 1950. Twenty-five years later he once again stood tall and reached out to Alveda, now reeling after 2 unresolved abortion losses, to pull back from the precipice of deeper death and destruction:

Alveda: Granddaddy MLK, Sr. rescued me again in 1975. He and my son’s father promised to help me if I wouldn’t abort my next baby. I believed them, thank God.

But Alveda would still suffer the after affects of her abortion losses. She shares about the Shockwaves of Abortion and their impact on her life and family:

Over the next few years, I experienced medical problems. I had trouble bonding with my son, and his five siblings who were born after the abortions. I began to suffer from eating disorders, depression, nightmares, sexual dysfunctions and a host of other issues related to the abortion that I chose to have. I felt angry about both abortions, and very guilty about the abortion I chose to have. The guilt made me very ill.

My children have all suffered from knowing that they have a brother or sister that their mother chose to abort. Often they ask if I ever thought about aborting them and have said, “You killed our baby.” This is very painful for all of us. Also, my mother and grandparents were very sad to know about the loss of the baby. The aborted child’s father also regrets the abortion. If it had not been for Roe v. Wade, I would never have had that abortion. Thankfully, through God’s merciful healing we continue to recover and heal as a family from the pain and loss of those abortion losses.

When you look at the sacrifice and legacy of the King family in their battle for racial equality and justice, it is truly an abomination for Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates to spread the propaganda that abortion is a woman’s civil right. The struggle for civil rights for African Americans was a movement led by men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice; they were ready to take a courageous stand and if necessary give their lives for those oppressed by racism and violence. Granddaddy King and his sons Martin Luther and A.D. King, and many other brave African American men embodied this model of manhood and fatherhood.

As we come to another Father’s Day celebration, let’s remember these men and emulate their values and sacrifice. Let us pray for those minority communities that have been especially targeted by abortion providers, and the fathers, mothers and families that have been devastated by the Shockwaves of Abortion.

“The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.”– Dr Martin Luther King
______________________________________
1. Aborted Women: Silent No More, David Reardon, Loyola University Press, Chicago, 1987

To read Alveda King’s testimony click HERE

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Friday, September 6th, 2013

130906 blog image

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12 NLT)

Beloved, I’m writing to you today from my position of being God’s child. His love guides me to thank you for praying during the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of my Uncle M.L.’s I HAVE A DREAM and The March on Washington. Please visit FRONTLINES to see a photo collection of what I’m calling my “private civil rights tour” for about three weeks, culminating on 8/28. It started at the hosts JC Watts and Charles and Kay James, founders of the Gloucester Institute at a civil rights summit with friends at the historic Moton Home where I sat under the very old tree where MLK worked on his famous IHAD speech.

Next, after a brief visit home it was on to PFL and then to Virginia for a strategy session and to a live performance of two very different stage plays, “Menopause” (a hoot indeed) and “Noah” with the incomparable God breathed Sight and Sound Production Company. My hosts, the founders of the “Women’s Refreshing Conference” also took me to the Gettysburg Museum.

Then to DC for the 50th Celebration. There, the highlights for me were speeches by my cousin Bernice King, sitting on the front row with Father Frank Pavone who also appeared on the Interfaith Program. The Willard Hotel hosted a fabulous Commemorative Gospel Concert, and my mother spoke at a youth conference.

Stay tuned for the release of a song I wrote, LET FREEDOM RING, remixed in honor of the occasion.

Coming in 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act so KEEP PRAYING!

God bless you and thanks again.

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Let Freedom Ring!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Alveda with Berinice King and Andrew Jackson

As we approach August 28th, which will be just a few hours from now, it’s important for us to remember that August 28, 1963, 50 years ago, people were marching for jobs, for decent housing, for justice, for better education.

Now in the 21st century, 50 years later we see people adding special interest groups or causes. For instance, we heard Planned Parenthood speaking at the march last week. We heard the homosexual community advocating their agenda. For me, what was missing were appeals for the unborn, requests to put prayer back on our schools, a push for restoring the work ethic and those types of things.

Of course we understand that causes divide us. Yet, may I point that it is the love of Christ that unites us. As to our causes, it is truth and not bickering that sets us free. Because people perish simply for lack of knowledge, I am commited to speaking out more truth in love.

Also, Martin Luther King, Jr., my Uncle M. L. took a lot of time praying, seeking the Lord, inquiring of the Lord. So as we continue to follow his pattern for the rest of this week, for the rest of this year, for the rest of our lives – if we can only begin to realize that we’re not separate races – we are one human race in need of the love of God – and believe that truth will set us free – together we can overcome in Christ.

Therefore, I can understand why my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “We must learn to live together as brothers [and I add sisters] or parish together as fools.”

And so, for those of us who believe the Bible, who trust God, who have been very sinful and are now repentant, we know that we need God. We know that we need to be forgiven and healed. We know that we cannot be intolerant of other. That we must seek transformation, not just tolerance, not compromise but transformation.

I’m mindful of that as I approach the Interfaith Service, the Bell Ringing Ceremony, I must not condemn any person or judge any person; rather I must share the good news with every person and demonstrate the love and liberty available at the cross for everyone from conception to natural death.

Let freedom ring!

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Fr. Pavone and Alveda King to take part in March on Washington commemoration

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 26, 2013

Contact: Eugene Vigil
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will join Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and her uncle Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Father Pavone will take part in an interfaith service from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and will be present with the King family for the events throughout the day.

“We remember the events of 50 years ago because they speak to today, and the message that the march and the speech have for America is that we cannot have equality and justice until the children in the womb are protected,” said Father Pavone. “Dr. King’s dream would be absolutely unintelligible if one imagines that somehow the dismemberment and decapitation of thousands of children a day could be reconciled with that dream, or could be justified either morally or legally.”

Dr. Alveda King noted that her uncle often spoke of a “Beloved Community.” Father Pavone, Dr. Alveda King, her mother and brother are among the signatories of a 2011 declaration called “The Beloved Community and the Unborn” that draws on a Christmas sermon Martin Luther King delivered in 1967, in which he preached the following words:

“The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. . . When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”

The statement, which calls on America to include the unborn in the Beloved Community, was placed in the time capsule underneath the new monument to Dr. King in Washington, DC.
“Nonviolence is not nonviolence if we still tolerate some violence,” Father Pavone said, “And equality is not equality if some are still not equal. Let the events of these days kindle in us all, from the President to the newest citizen, a determination to bring an end to abortion, and restore justice for the unborn.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Alveda, Father Frank to join 50th Celebration

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

MLK March on Washington

Father Frank and I will attend 8/28 celebration for 50 years after March on Washington and I Have a Dream speech.

Fifty years ago, a valiant group of people from across America and around the globe embarked on a “March on Washington.” While there have been many marches on Washington possibly before and certainly afterwards, the 1963 March on Washington remains the premier example of how unity of heart and spirit can transform a community, a nation and a world.

My parents, A.D. and Naomi King attended the March, and were there when their famous brother/brother-in-law delivered the now famous I HAVE A DREAM speech. Back then, they were marching for jobs, decent housing and decent education. Of course, then as well as now, jobs, housing and education remain in the category of issues that impact all human beings from a common perspective. After all, everyone needs some form of income to provide food and shelter, and we all need some form of intellectual enlightenment.

Fifty years later, the March has taken on a different flavor, and is more cause oriented than the counterpart of days gone by. The 2013 March includes themes that go beyond those basic demands of 1963. History teaches us that causes can divide people while Agape Love can unite. During his lifetime, my Uncle M. L. spoke of a dream, he spoke of a “Beloved Community.”

For the last several days, people have tempted me to delve into the political melee about who is right about one cause or another. Yet, I still cling to the hope that Agape Love will take the place of political and moral turpitude, and that people will rise above debates about tolerance and reach rather for compassion and transformation.

I will join the hundreds of thousands in DC over the next few days. I’m asking you to join us, and if you can’t come, please pray with us. Some of the upcoming events promise to be exciting and soul stirring. As my cousin Bernice says:

“The response to our call to commemorate the March on Washington and my father’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been overwhelming,” said King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King, a convener of the nation-wide and global mobilization. “Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for 8 days in Washington, D.C. and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capitol for this historic event, and many more to take part world-wide in their communities.”

On Sunday, August 25th The King Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by participating in a gospel brunch sponsored by the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts at 11:30 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. Dr. King put the finishing touches on his famous speech in his suite at the Willard Hotel the night before the pivotal August 28, 1963 March on Washington civil rights rally.

On Tuesday, August 27th the King Center will co-host the K-12th Grade Educational Initiative at the “School Without Walls,” a Washington, D.C. public school. The event is for students, but the public is invited to stream the program from http://officialmlkdream50.com/. My mother, Mrs. Naomi King and my cousin Dr. Angela Farris Watkins are slated to speak at the forum that day.

The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on August 28th, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an Interfaith Service at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC from 8:30 (prelude) to 10:30 a.m. that will include a variety of religious disciplines.

That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C will feature remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King Family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations. The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka Team from New Zealand and Junkanoo Performers from the Bahamas. Confirmed program participants include: Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans Shirley Caesar, Heather Headley and others to be announced. A song I wrote, “Let Freedom Ring” will also be performed that day. For more details, go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

Bernice says that her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on August 28th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition to the diverse activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream with bell-ringing ceremonies have thus far been scheduled in places as diverse as: Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Chaska Minnesota; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi; Jefferson City, Missouri; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; New York, New York; Delaware and Grandville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College and Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Nyack, New York; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School, Norwich, Vermont; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with more being added every day.

Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the U.S. at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones in locations as diverse as: Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London, U.K.; and Tokyo, Japan.

In my heart of hearts I truly believe that we all long to be “free at last.” I’m not sure how many remember the rest of the phrase from that speech delivered so long ago: “Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.” As we approach the March and the Bell Ringing Ceremony, let us pray for each other, and love one another so that we can ascend above the looming abyss that threatens to reach that higher ground.

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EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR COMMEMORATION OF 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH ON WASHINGTON, MLK’S “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH

Friday, August 16th, 2013

MLK_I_Have_A_Dream,,,

FOR IMMEDIAT RELEASE
August 12, 2013

Media Contact: Bunnie Jackson-Ransom (404) 505-8188
King Center Contact: Steve Klein (404) 526-8944

Dozens of Cities Plan for World-wide ‘Let Freedom Ring’ Celebration

ATLANTA: As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, The King Center announced expanded details for the observance of this historic milestone.

“The response to our call to commemorate the March on Washington and my father’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been overwhelming,” said King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King, a convener of the nation-wide and global mobilization. “Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for 8 days in Washington, D.C. and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capitol for this historic event, and many more to take part world-wide in their communities.”

The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on August 28th, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an Interfaith Service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. that will include a variety of religious disciplines.

That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C will feature remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King Family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations. The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka Team from New Zealand and Junkanoo Performers from the Bahamas. Confirmed program participants include: Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans and others to be announced. For more details, go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

Ms. King said that her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on August 28th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition to the diverse activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream with bell-ringing ceremonies have thus far been scheduled in places as diverse as: Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Chaska Minnesota; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi; Jefferson City, Missouri; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; New York, New York; Delaware and Grandville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College and Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Nyack, New York; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School, Norwich, Vermont; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with more being added every day.

Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the U.S. at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones in locations as diverse as: Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London, U.K.; and Tokyo, Japan.

Other events commemorating the 50th Anniversary include:

The first King Center observance of the 50th anniversary begins on Saturday, August 17th from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m at The King Center and National Historic site, Atlanta, GA. The King Center, in cooperation with the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta Public Schools, the City of Atlanta, Operation Hope and others, will present the Atlanta Global Freedom Exposition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The program will provide a unique, family-friendly opportunity to participate in honoring Dr. King’s great dream for our nation and world in the community where he was nurtured,” explained Superintendent Forte. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

On Tuesday, August 27th the King Center will co-host the K-12th Grade Educational Initiative at the “School Without Walls,” a Washington, D.C. public school. The event is for students, but the public is invited to stream the program from http://officialmlkdream50.com/.

On Sunday, August 25th The King Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by participating in a gospel brunch sponsored by the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts at 11:30 a.m. in the grand ballroom of the Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C. Dr. King put the finishing touches on his famous speech in his suite at the Willard Hotel the night before the pivotal August 28, 1963 March on Washington civil rights rally.

For more information about nationwide and global bell-ringing programs on August 28th, please contact Steve Klein at sklein@thekingcenter.org. To see a video clip of Bernice A. King inviting people and organizations to participate in the commemorative bell-ringing, please scan the QR Code below with your cell phone laser-reader app.

The theme for the commemoration of the March on Washington and the “I Have A Dream” speech, “Our World, His Dream: Freedom – Make it Happen,” has been endorsed and supported by the 50th Anniversary Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Freedom. The theme is undergirded by the three sub-themes: “Freedom to Prosper in Life;” “Freedom to Peacefully Co-Exist;” and “Freedom to Participate in Government.”

For more information about the 50th Anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech, please contact The King Center (Atlanta, GA) at 404-526-8944, sklein@thekingcenter.org or visit the website www.mlkdream50.com. To stay in touch with updated details, participate with the following: Twitter twitter.com/DCMARCHMLK50; Facebook www.facebook.com/Mlkdream50; Pinterest pinterest.com/mlkdream50/; and Intstagram mlkdream50. The Hashtag is #mlkdream50.

Media Contact:
For more information, please contact Bunnie Jackson-Ransom at (404) 505-8188 or email
First Class, Inc. bjr@fclassinc.com and/or staff@fclassinc.com.

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