Upholding the Dream: MLK’s Granddaughter Continues Her Family’s Legacy

WUSA-TV via YouTube

Yolanda Renee King, the grandchild of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, made a surprise appearance Saturday at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. The 9-year-old roused the crowd with a passionate speech that would no doubt have made her activist grandparents proud, evoking the “I Have a Dream” speech her grandfather famously gave 55 years ago at the March on Washington:

“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” she said. “I have a dream that enough is enough! And that this should be a gun-free world, period!

The youngest speaker at the event then led the crowd in a chant of “Spread the word, have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation.”

Yolanda wasn’t the only King in attendance Saturday; aunt Bernice King was also there and wrote a Facebook post in support of her young niece: “Very proud Aunt. My niece, Yolanda Renee King, truly represented the King family.”


Elementary schooler Yolanda is almost the age her father, Martin Luther King III, was when gun violence rocked the King family—and the nation—with the 1968 assassination of MLK. But the issue is still frighteningly present in her young life, as she told CNN: “We do all these lockdown drills [in my school] because it’s unfortunate that people have guns and they use them to hurt people.”

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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She made me smile. She made me cry. She made me proud and she gave this lily white old guy more hope for the future than I’ve felt for a long time. Get out of the way NRA and GOP. You have met your match!