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Bernice King urges others to follow MLK's message of peace
'Be a King,' she says
Bernice King, daughter of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr, urges crowd at Georgia Southern to 'be a King.' - photo by JAKE HALLMAN/Staff
    Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., challenged people to “Be A King” Tuesday night at Georgia Southern’s Performing Arts Center.
    King, on campus as part of the school’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, challenged the capacity crowd to “raise the standard” of how they live their lives to overcome such challenges as racism, poverty and war.
    “Even though we’ve made great strides, there are so many things that we stand in need of to make this world the great world that God intended for it to be,” she said.
    King challenged the audience, which was predominantly college students, to become a part of the solution to make the world a better place, much like her father had done during his life.
    “In order for this world to become a reflection of what God intended, then you must become engaged in it,” she said.
    King said that one of the things that made her father so influential was that he was willing to become involved with the controversial issues of the day and not shy away from them.
    Also, she said in order for the world to be changed, the change would need to come from the younger generation and there are no excuses for not making a difference.
    “The world will never change, nothing will change, until the young people engage themselves in the issues of the day. In fact, nothing in history changed until young people became concerned and focused in terms of the issues of their day.”
    As evidence of that, King said the majority of those who marched with her father were young, including some as young as 12-years old.
    She urged people to elevate their mindset to that of a king, who is focused on moral and spiritual matters rather than the lower mindset of society.
    However, because we tend to not have an elevated mindset, we allow ourselves and those around us to become exploited by society.
    She criticized the “poverty mentality” of American society in which we have an abundance of wealth but there are still those in our community that can’t meet their basic needs.
    She also criticized America’s priorities as well, saying so much money goes to homeland security rather than cancer research when more Americans are touched by cancer than terrorism.
    King said that today’s society has become “thing-centered” rather than “people-centered” and encouraged the audience to remember the sacrifices of those in the 1950s and 1960s.
    Lucious Freemen, a junior, secondary education student at Georgia Southern, said he though King’s message was very positive and uplifting and also challenged him.
    “We, as young people, need to wake up and do something about poverty or racism or war,” he said.
    King said she wanted people to become involved in the issues of the day.
    “I’m challenging you to redirect some of your energy and focus so that you can become engaged in the conversations of the day to deal with the evils of poverty, racism and war.”
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