Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - CBS46 News

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: Updated:
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

To the world, Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader with a dream that helped change the lives of millions. But to his youngest child, Bernice King, he was just daddy.

"As a kid people used to say your dad is Martin Luther King… and I'd be like and…," said King.

Because she was so young, King says she didn't fully understand who her dad was. She never got to see him on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, like her siblings did.

"All of them got to go on a march or travel with him somewhere.I didn't get any of that. Identifying with the role he played publicly, I didn't get that opportunity," said King.

She was only five years old when her father was assassinated on April 4 1968

"At that time, he may have been gone 3, 4, 5, weeks at a time. That was nothing, but now 2 months 3 months 5 months," said King.

All King knew was that her daddy was missing.

"It was difficult initially trying to get accustomed to him not being present anymore. I would look at male photographers and say can he be my dad, can that be my dad," said King.

Without the light of her life, King was overcome with darkness. She was angry and bitter.

"I went through a period where I hated white people, especially white males because I felt like they were responsible for my fathers assassination. I was walking around like a ticking time bomb," said King.

She says she didn't want to deal with being a King and longed for her own identity. Over time, it was King's mother Dr. Coretta Scott King who helped her heal. But even now, this woman of God struggles with believing that the champion behind the Civil Rights Movement is in fact, her father.

"Sometimes I look at him and I'm like you're my daddy…laughs.. you're my… I'm  your daughter," said King.

As his daughter, King is continuing his work in non-violence and peace. 

There are a number of events scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the assassination Dr. King starting next Monday. Some are in Memphis, Tennessee and others are here in Atlanta.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46