Jan. 17 (UPI) — The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered with events scheduled in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., on Monday as his family celebrated what would have been his 93rd birthday.
“My father’s influence is global. We can engage his teachings to eradicate injustice anywhere. In our World House today, there are malnourished children, war-ravaged villages, and families without clean water. Let’s commemorate toward challenging inhumanity and choosing justice,” she tweeted.
Bernice King, who is the youngest daughter of the late civil rights icon and his wife Coretta Scott King, also noted the legacy of her mother.
“She was the architect of the King Legacy and founder of The King Center, which she founded two months after Daddy was assassinated,” she tweeted. “Without Coretta Scott King, there would be no MLK Day.”
Martin Luther King III, the couple’s oldest living child, wrote an op-ed for CNN with his wife, Arndrea Waters King, on Monday calling for Democratic leaders to eliminate the filibuster and push for voting legislation.
“Without that federal legislation, states will continue to be allowed to pass bills that restrict early voting and Sunday voting, purge voter lists that organizers worked tirelessly to create, and close polling stations in communities of color,” he wrote in the op-ed.
He was also expected to speak at a news conference on voting rights with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after attending a peace walk in Washington, D.C. The annual parade held in conjunction with the peace walk has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This MLK Day, I will not accept empty promises in pursuit of my father’s dream. I do not want to see photo ops of elected officials if they are not willing to put voting rights over the filibuster,” he tweeted. “Today is a day of service and action. Congress must #DeliverForVotingRights.”
Pelosi issued a statement on Monday noting that the House “proudly passed” the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, the latest push from Democrats for voting legislation after Senate Republicans filibustered two similar bills last year: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
“If Senate Republicans block this legislation this week, they diminish our democracy at home and tarnish our example of freedom abroad. But, they cannot and will not deter Democrats from the righteous fight for voting rights,” Pelosi said.
“Indeed, we must not rest until we finally achieve racial justice, social justice, economic justice and environmental justice for all of our children. And may we always strive to build a future worthy of Dr. King’s glorious vision.”
Vice President Kamala Harris posted a photo Monday with President Joe Biden from the tomb and reflecting pool at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation which King had co-pastored with his father before his assassination in 1968. She’s expected to deliver virtual remarks during a service at the church Monday.
“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prophet who saw the present exactly as it was,” Harris wrote with the post. “He also saw a better, fairer, more equitable future in which freedom would ring from ‘every state and every city’ of our nation. Dr. King worked every day to realize that dream. And so must we.”