Local

Speakers Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. At Capitol Tribute Focus On Past And Present

Dr. Bernice King speaks at a tribute to her late father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
Dr. Bernice King speaks at a tribute to her late father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE

The voices of the choir from Martin Luther King Jr. High School echoed through the marbled halls of the state Capitol building and brought the overflow crowd to its feet.

This week marked the 91st anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s home state of Georgia honored the Civil Rights leader Friday with a two-hour-long tribute inside the Capitol.

Dr. Bernice King said she was once again moved that her father was being honored by his native state.

“But I also know that as we commemorate him, we cannot forget the architect of the King legacy, Corretta Scott King,” she said.

The keynote speaker at the tribute was Nadia Theodore, who serves as Canada’s Counsel General for the southeastern part of the U.S. Born in Ottawa, and the daughter of immigrants, she spoke of one of Dr. King’s connections to her home country, a lecture he recorded for the CBC in 1967.

“As a diplomat, I am particularly energized by one of the lectures key messages,” Theodore said. “That people have to transcend the boundaries of race, party, class and nation. We must either learn to live together as brothers, or we’re all going to perish together as fools.”

Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan both attended the service along with many state lawmakers.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a transformational leader with so many great accomplishments,” Kemp said. “He put his dreams ahead of personal comfort, and he persevered in the face of adversity. He reminded us that moving forward is an obligation, not an option.”

Remembrances of Dr. King continue through the weekend, capped off by the annual service Monday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.