What Ber­nice King re­mem­bers

The Week (US) - - 10 News -

Ber­nice King has only dim mem­o­ries of her fa­ther, said Ed Pilk­ing­ton in The Guardian (U.K.). Martin Luther King Jr.’s daugh­ter was just 5 years old when he was as­sas­si­nated in Mem­phis, 50 years ago this month. Her mem­o­ries con­sist of frag­ments and im­ages, some her own, and oth­ers shared with her by rel­a­tives. One that stands out is play­ing the “Kiss­ing Game.” Her fa­ther would point to his fore­head while hold­ing her and in­vite her to kiss it. “He called it a ‘sugar spot,’” she says. King also re­mem­bers the con­fu­sion she felt when record­ings of her fa­ther’s speeches were played at his fu­neral at Ebenezer Bap­tist Church in At­lanta. “My mother told me ear­lier he wouldn’t be able to speak to me, and yet I hear his voice boom­ing out of the speak­ers and I’m look­ing around won­der­ing where is he,” she says. “I re­mem­ber that very well.” King sees the coun­try’s cur­rent po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion as an op­por­tu­nity, not as a threat. “Here we have peo­ple be­ing gal­va­nized all over this na­tion, and even the world, who are speak­ing up in ways per­haps they never have. The best way to sum it up is what my mother said, which is that strug­gle is a never-end­ing process, free­dom is never re­ally won—you earn it and win it in ev­ery gen­er­a­tion.”

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