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Life and Liberty for All: An Interview with Alveda King

January 21–25, 2013   |   Vol. 114, Programs 51–55

“A truly non-violent society is going to love our fellow man. And when we love people, we will never stand up for anything that is going to injure them. And those are the things that my father, Reverend A.D. King, believed, my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and my grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.”

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Civil Rights movement of the’60s sought to win African Americans the fundamental freedoms of all American citizens. Is that battle over? On this week’s Home School Heartbeat, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., talks with Mike Farris about her family’s legacy and the next battle to be fought.

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Learn more about Dr. Alveda King’s work to protect life through her foundation, King for America. Follow the link to visit her website.

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Telling the Whole Story: Incorporating African-American History into Your Curriculum

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“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds,” so proclaimed Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This week on Home School Heartbeat, Dr. Alveda King joins host Mike Farris to discuss the King family legacy of freedom.

Mike Farris: My guest this week is Dr. Alveda King, who is the pastoral associate for the pro-life organization Priests for Life. She’s the founder of the organization King for America, and is the daughter of the civil rights leader A.D. King. Dr. King, welcome to this program!

Dr. Alveda King: Well, hello to you and all of your listeners! I’m so glad to join you on your program, Mike.

Mike: Alveda, your uncle, Martin Luther King, Jr., and your father, A.D. King, shaped American history by their work for civil rights. Would you explain why their belief in the importance of nonviolent means to combat injustice and further civil rights was so very crucial?

Dr. King: Today is a wonderful day to talk about that, but his dream has not ever been forgotten. And part of that dream is certainly what you just talked about. The value, the intrinsic worth of man to God, you know God loves all human beings, and so when we think about human dignity, there are certain things that are valuable that should not change and cannot change.

And so a truly non-violent society is going to love our fellow man. And when we love people, we will never stand up for anything that is going to injure them. And those are the things that my father, Reverend A.D. King, believed, my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and my grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Mike: Dr. King, it’s been a privilege having you. I’m Mike Farris.

Mike Farris: Dr. King, most of us know about your very important uncle Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But your father, A.D. King—we need to know more about him. Would you tell us what role he played?

Dr. Alveda King: My father, Reverend A.D. King, is the youngest of three children born to Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., and his wife, Alberta Williams King. Daddy King was in the civil rights movement before his sons and daughter were born. Christina’s the oldest; and then Martin, and then my dad.

Dad and Uncle Martin worked together in the civil rights movement and were often called the Sons of Thunder after James and John in the Bible. And they marched together, they preached together, they prayed together, they ministered together, and Dr. King—Martin Luther King, Jr.—was killed in 1968, and then my father was killed in 1969.

Yet they both have the love of God, and they loved each other; they loved their brothers and sisters. They walked in the principle called the beloved community, with God being the head of that community. They both loved Jesus Christ, they were ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so my father stood with his brother throughout their lifetime.

Mike: That is just fascinating history, encouraging about your family, and troubling about the path that America has sometimes walked. I’m really inspired. I’m Mike Farris.

Mike Farris: I’m joined again today by Dr. Alveda King, who’s the pastoral associate for Priests for Life, a really good pro-life organization. She’s the daughter of civil rights leader A.D. King. The King family’s work for civil rights has changed the course of American history. Alveda, would you tell us how it has shaped your personal life and mission?

Dr. Alveda King: I was born into the same family that gave the world Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and our history and our legacy goes back many, many, many years. My grandfather, Daddy King’s grandfather was Irish. My grandmother’s grandfather was a freed slave preacher. And so when those two families came together, the emancipators and the freedom-fighters, well, it was just an awesome time.

Our family has been a family known to love the Lord. And so growing up with that, I’m part of a legacy that’s called to proclaim not only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and also the importance, of faith, of hope, and of love. And so that means no matter how someone treats us, that no matter what seems to be wrong in a society, we have the obligation to proclaim that love and to reach out with that love. That is part of the King family legacy.

Mike: Your story is so inspiring. Thanks for joining me! I’m Mike Farris.

Mike Farris: Dr. King, your family was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. What would you say is the most critical issue confronting African Americans today?

Dr. Alveda King: The most critical issue confronting African Americans today, considering the civil rights history of which I am a part, certainly, is life. Conception until natural death, and everything that goes between. Some people say that health care is the most important issue. Some people would say that the economy is the most important issue. Education is definitely very important.

However, if we do not protect human life from conception until natural death, then none of those issues will be even considered. And so I believe that life in every stage, no matter if it’s a little baby in the womb, a little baby that needs the love of his or her mother and father, a child in school, an infirm person who is sick, an elderly person, all of these people make up the human fiber and fabric of what we call life. And so life is perhaps the most important civil rights issue of our time.

Mike: Dr. King, I couldn’t agree with you more. Protecting the sanctity of human life is at the top of the list. I’m Mike Farris.

Mike Farris: Dr. King, last time, you shared what you considered the most important critical issue for, not only African Americans, but really all Americans: defending the lives of unborn children. How can our listeners make a difference in this struggle and continue the legacy of freedom and justice for all that your uncle Martin Luther King, Jr., and your father, A.D. King, dedicated their lives to?

Dr. Alveda King: I would like for your listeners to consider the importance of life and to find out how life is being threatened, not only in America but across the globe. And also because I am an African-American woman, I can truly say, having experienced abortion myself and been healed and forgiven by God for those abortions, that we must know what a threat abortion is to every member of society.

African-Americans are disproportionately targeted by abortion, so are Latinos and Hispanics; so are college students of every ethnic group. I encourage your listeners to visit maafa21, and also, the Blood Money Film, and then visit my own website: priestforlife.org/africanamerican, and learn how you can be involved in the fight for life.

Mike: Dr. King, we are so blessed by having you on the program and sharing the King family history with us. I’m Mike Farris.

Dr. Alveda C. KingDr. Alveda King
Dr. Alveda C. King founded King for America, Inc. “to assist people in enriching their lives spiritually, personally, mentally and economically.” She is the daughter of the late slain civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and his wife Naomi Barber King. Alveda is the grateful mother of six children, and she is a doting grandmother.

During the more than half century of her life, Alveda has worked towards her purpose of glorifying God in the earth by accomplishing many goals. Currently, Alveda is a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, serving as Director of African American Outreach for Gospel of Life, headed up by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. She also consults with the Africa Humanitarian Christian Fellowship, founded by her mentor, Pastor Allen McNair of Believers' Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is a former college professor, holding the Masters of Arts degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. Her undergraduate studies in journalism and sociology helped her to become a published author, the most popular works being her best-selling books Sons Of Thunder: The King Family Legacy and I Don’t Want Your Man, I Want My Own. This inspirational collection of Christian testimonies is used at conferences and workshops around the world.

Alveda’s Doctorate of Laws was conferred by Saint Anslem College. She has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations, including the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Coalition Of African American Pastors, and the Judeo-Christian Coalition For Constitutional Restoration. She also served in the Georgia State House of Representatives, and is an accomplished actress and songwriter.

During the years of the Civil Rights Movement, led by her Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda’s family home was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama, in the heat of the struggle. “Daddy's house was bombed, then in Louisville, Kentucky, his church office was bombed. I was also jailed during the open housing movement,” she recalls.

Alveda has continued her long-term work as a civil rights activist, speaking out on issues that face society today. “I believe that School Choice is a pressing civil rights issue. Perhaps the most compelling issue of all is the life of the unborn,” Alveda says. “Faith in God, and the commitment to fulfill His will for our lives‐not faith in government bureaucracy—is the key to positive action. Have faith in God!” This is the message that Alveda carries to the world.

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