MLK III welcomes Parkland, Florida, survivors to Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) — School shooting survivors from Parkland, Florida, who are touring the nation to register voters were welcomed Sunday to Atlanta by Martin Luther King III, who shared his own story of gun violence.
King said most everyone knows his father was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. What’s less known, he told the hundreds of people rallying with Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Sunday, is that in 1974, another deranged gunman killed his grandmother, church organist Alberta King.
“She was gunned down inside Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, while playing the Lord’s Prayer,” King said.
Now 60 and a human rights activist in his own right, King said he can finally “see a change is on the horizon.”
King didn’t mention his own young daughter, Yolanda Renee King, who gave a rousing speech of her own this year at the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
But he said young people have power. He said he hasn’t “seen a movement like this since 1963,” and that one also involved high schoolers -- 3,000 of them -- who marched in Birmingham “so that freedom, justice and equality could be made real for all people.”
The students were joined by a mix of speakers and locals who shared their own personal stories of gun violence.
Jacyln Corin described huddling in a Marjory Stoneman classroom, hearing the gunfire that killed 17 classmates and adults on Feb. 14.
“We are here to combat that fear with hope, with love, and most importantly, with votes,” she said.
She noted that turnout in the 2014 mid-term elections was the lowest since World War Two, and said dirty politics depends on turning voters away.
“We are here to scare the politicians in November, when they see a tsunami of young voters filling out their ballots.”