Like her grandfather, Yolanda Renee King told a large gathering in the nation’s capital about her dream of a more compassionate and less violent world.
The 9-year-old girl walked out on Saturday onto the March for Our Lives stage in Washington, D.C., wearing an orange ribbon to protest gun violence and introduced herself as the granddaughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King — to thunderous applause.
“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun-free world. Period!” she said.
Then Yolanda led the crowd through a chant that she had also delivered two months ago on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at her grandfather’s memorial.
“Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation! We! Are going to be! A great generation!”
She encouraged the crowd of protesters to shout it out louder several times: “And I’d like you to say it like you really, really mean it and the whole entire world can hear you!”
After several rounds, she said, “Now give yourselves a hand!”
Throughout the speech, Yolanda was holding hands with Jaclyn Corin, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed and many more were wounded in a mass shooting last month. Corin has emerged as one of the leaders of the Never Again MSD activist movement and helped to organize the March for Our Lives, which is dedicated to student-led activism for ending gun violence and mass shootings.
Martin Luther King Jr., perhaps the most celebrated leader of the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s, advocated for making change through nonviolence and civil disobedience. He delivered his most famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” during the March on Washington in August 1963. He was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., in April 1968.
On Saturday, Yolanda later sat down for a CNN interview with her father, Martin Luther King III. She said she was initially nervous.
“My heart was like beating … and it just got faster and faster,” she recalled. She said she ultimately realized, “Oh, it’s not that bad.”
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