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Published:January 22nd, 2007 07:29 EST
Kings Dream Revisited - Yolanda King speaks at the Ohio State University

Kings Dream Revisited - Yolanda King speaks at the Ohio State University

By Ashley Mathews

The African American voices made a joyful noise in recognition to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. daughter, who is one of the many connections between them and the dream. King began her performance describing who her father was to her personally. With confidence in her voice, she walked back and forth across the stage as she expressed her thoughts to the audience.

She said, “My father was a king, but not the kind of king that you would bow down too, he was the kind that bowed down daily at the throne of God.”

Yolanda King the first- born daughter of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Spoke at Ohio State University’s Hitchcock Auditorium on January 11, to help kickoff the 35th annual celebration of her father’s life. The OSU African American Voices, gospel choir also sang to help celebrate. The event also highlighted recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship. The theme of the event was “Crossroads to Courage.” King contributed to this theme by acting out actual events of the civil rights movement to motivate individuals to think about the power of choices.

“It was very artistic and uplifting performance given by King I was really shocked by her ability to capture the audience,” said Charles Robb, an attendee and graduate of OSU.

King made it very clear that she was a believer in the dream; her father strived for in Montgomery, Alabama during the civil rights movement. She said the dream in which she believes stands for equality, freedom to live without violence or poverty, and world in which people work together. The strategy presented to achieve the dream was to simply use our power of choice.

Larry Williams, director of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center, also affirmed the importance of remembering and celebrating King's dream.

"We have to have programs like these, they re-energize people. It's almost like a New Year's resolution when you (make a commitment) to do something these programs help you remember to fulfill those things," he said.

The dream, which Ms. King believes in, is also reflected in her work. She was a founding member of Christian Theatre Artist, co-founding Director of NUCLEUS, (a company of performing artists dedicated to promoting positive energy through the arts). In addition, she is the CEO, of Higher Ground Productions’, which most recent project, “Achieving the Dream,” was performed at OSU several years ago. 

Jenell Moore, a sophomore in interior design, said this program is not just about remembering King's dream, but also continuing his legacy.

King wraps her head with a scarf, puts on a pair of glass, and speaks in the firm voice of Rosa Parks, whose powerful choice to stay seated on the front of a bus made a change in the present.

She said, “What did I tell you about the power of choice, when people come together for a cause that is righteous, miracles can happen.”

King describes, television programming in America during the civil right movement. If you turned on you TV back then, you would be horrified by the screams of black people being attacked by dogs, beaten by police, and hosed by the fire department. All of this could be seen through the tear gas that fumed the air to stop black people who choose to come together to make a change.

She acknowledges that as a today we have not yet reached the point of working together to achieve the “Dream,” because people are still roaming around without a clue.

King said her father would have not wanted people to celebrate his life through the building of monuments, but by making choices for change.      

She said, “It is far easier to build a monument than to make a better world, we all have a role to play in moving forward.”

The stories told during the event shared a message that had to be seen and not heard. Which King demonstrates theatrically, illustrating that people must recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers as examples of making choices? His life must not be celebrated as a holiday, but as an opportunity to promote interracial cooperation to make a difference.

To listen to an interview with Yolanda King: