12-year-old Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of the late Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK), recently spoke at the 2020 March on Washington about her legendary grandfather and about racial equality.
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. Now, 57 years later, his granddaughter Yolanda King is part of a new generation speaking up in the fight for MLK’s dream of a nation where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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We are marching with the largest and most active, multigenerational, multiracial movement for civil and human rights since the 1960s. This is a moment in history we must not let pass us by. In the face of injustice, controversy, and inequality, we stand up and demand better.
On August 28, 2020, the thousands converged on the National Mall in Washington D.C. for the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks rally, organized by the National Action Network (NAN), to protest against police brutality, systemic racism, and calling for racial equality and criminal justice reform. With her father, MLK’s son Martin Luther King III by her side, Yolanda King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave an emotionally charged speech, proclaiming to the crowd that her generation would fulfill her grandfather’s dream.
“My generation has already taken to the streets peacefully with masks — and socially distanced — to protest racism,” said Yolanda. “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.’”
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I am so proud of my daughter, Yolanda. As she said in her speech today, she is part of the generation that will change the world. They will dismantle systemic racism, call a halt to police brutality and gun violence, reverse climate change to save the planet, and end poverty. She is the future. She is my father’s dream.
“We are going to be the generation that dismantles systemic racism once and for all, now and forever! We are going to be the generation that caused a halt to police brutality and gun violence once and for all, now and forever!” continued Yolanda. “We are going to be the generation that reserves climate change and saves our planet once and for all, now and forever! And we will be the generation that ends poverty here in America, the wealthiest nation on Earth, once and for all, now and forever!”
“We stand and march for love, and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream!” proclaimed Yolanda. She then rallied the crowd with the call, “Show me what Democracy looks like!” and they responded with “This is what Democracy looks like!” “Okay, then let’s show them!” said Yolanda, concluding her speech to the sound of roaring applause and cheers.