Before my mother was a King, she was a gifted vocalist and musician, whose skill and academia garnered her a scholarship to the prestigious New England Conservatory for Music in Boston.
I didn't have a father to deal with about boyfriends. I didn't have a father to show me how a man and woman relate in a family setting. Therefore, I have given over my life to mentoring young people. I'm adamant about young people who have been denied a father/daughter relationship.
We are carrying collectively a lot of trauma, especially those of us in the African-American community. And if we're not careful, it'll overtake us, and we'll self-destruct.
Always realize that even your strongest advocate and opponent is a part of the human family; albeit they may have small shortcomings and even strength in them, they are part of that human family.
Seek out your brothers and sisters of other cultures and join together in building alliances to put an end to all forms of racial discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice. There are people of good will of all races, religions, and nations who will join you in common quest for the betterment of society.
Police departments across the nation must develop nonviolent 'rules of engagement,' so that they don't reflexively respond to suspected crimes with violence. This will require more in-depth training in the behavioral psychology of conflict resolution so police have tried-and-true techniques of preventing and de-escalating violence.
As you know, my father was for the inclusiveness and the betterment of society and the world. Certainly we recognize that there are diverse voices in our country, and people have the right of free speech. They have the right of choice, but again, it is our hope that when they choose, they choose to reflect those ideals that he taught us.
How do we navigate and process painful biases and conflicting emotions and press on to be sacrificial and suffer in the struggle? And what do we do with images and depictions that, known or unknown to those perpetuating them, may contribute to the impediment of human progress?
Something is very wrong when our federal and state governments have a high tolerance for the unrestricted distribution of weapons of mass destruction, and it would be wrong to let this deadly form of neglect continue to facilitate bloodshed across America.
We are faced with the dilemma of how or if we demonstrate where we stand on critical issues and corresponding social ills. We are also bombarded with so many instances of inhumanity that it can be difficult to determine what part we play in human progress.
With The King Center as her base, my mother pressed on to fulfill a role that changed lives and legislation. She was a woman who refused to surrender the reigns of what she knew to be her assignment, even when male civil rights and business leaders tried to convince her that she should leave the work of building her husband's legacy to them.
We must rediscover our faith in the future and join with one another to ensure that nonviolence is the prevalent choice for government, law enforcement, the non-profit sector, business, education, media, entertainment, arts, and for the global citizenry.
We cannot afford to regard as normal the presence of injustice, inhumanity, and violence, including their verbal and cyber manifestations.
Before my mother was a King, she climbed trees and wrestled with boys. And won. Even as a child, Coretta Scott demonstrated that her gender would not deter her success, nor did it detract from her strength.
We can put millions of America's idle young people to work helping to repair and restore America's deteriorating infrastructure, public utilities, and transportation systems. Nothing would revitalize the nation's sagging economy more than such a commitment.
After acknowledging that most law enforcement personnel are fair-minded and do a difficult job, it only takes one exception to create a terrible tragedy.
If each of us works toward making a sincere effort when we wake up each morning with a renewed commitment and dedication to embracing nonviolence as a lifestyle, this world will become a better place, bringing us ever closer to the Beloved Community of which my father so often spoke.
In addition to a stronger focus on better training for law enforcement, America urgently needs programs to provide jobs and educational opportunities in economically depressed communities.
In 1985, I joined my mother in a protest against apartheid in which we were arrested at the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. And she was at President-elect Mandela's side in Johannesburg when he claimed victory in South Africa's first free elections.
In 1985, I was arrested, along with my mother and brother, Martin III, in a protest against apartheid at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C.