Exclusive nephew of Martin Luther King: “Racial equality in the United States will never be achieved in my life”

Isaac Newton Knight, Jr. is Willie’s son Christine King, the only surviving sister of Martin Luther King Jr. Isaac was born on April 13, 1962 in Atlanta, and, like his famous uncle, graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in political science.

Throughout his career, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. has met with many prominent heads of state, religious leaders, and activists, and has been repeatedly invited to voice his views and comments in the American press, including CNN and USA Today.

In 1984, Isaac Newton Faris Jr. was the Georgia state coordinator of the presidential campaign for Democrat Walter Mondale, who was the 42nd Vice President of the United States, from 1977 to 1981. Then, in 1985, he was the campaign deputy. Director in Andrew Young’s re-election to Mayor of Atlantis.

For five years, from 2005 to 2010, he served as Chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the King Center, where he continues to write and lecture on the life, philosophy, and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

You were only 6 years old when your uncle was killed. What kind of relationship do you have with Martin Luther King Jr.?

I remember with great pleasure the days I played with my uncle. He had a lot of patience to play with me! I also liked his calm and assertive manner of speaking, but also the fact that he had a special sense of humor.

What is your uncle’s first memory?

I remember with excitement the day he came to us in 1967 for the Thanksgiving holiday. He brought us many gifts and that day was truly unforgettable, thanks to his inexhaustible energy and the fact that he made everyone feel healthy. Martin Luther King, Jr. was very attached to his family.

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Greetings to hundreds of thousands of people

When did you realize your uncle was a famous man?

I realized how famous Martin Luther King Jr. was when I attended the funeral ceremonies at Ebenezer Baptist Church and when I saw how beautifully people were talking about him. He was so excited, especially since the job was four days before he turned six. I was deeply moved to see how many hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in his memory. I was too young to realize why he was my famous uncle, but I knew he was a well-known personality.

How did you know that he was killed and what was the first reaction?

I remember being home with my family and a special TV commercial was made. It was very troublesome. After my mother turned off the TV, she started crying.

Generational struggle

How difficult was the months after your uncle was killed?

The hardest thing for me was seeing the lingering suffering and pain of my mother, my grandparents, my aunts and my cousins. It was a very difficult period, especially since Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39 years old when he was assassinated.

When did you realize the global impact of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work?

I was ten years old when I was really starting to realize the impact of his life and how much he struggled to change the fates of people of color.

Isaac Newton Faris Jr. graduated from the same college as his uncle. Photo: personal archive

How does apartheid affect you in the United States?

Fortunately, apartheid didn’t affect me much personally or directly, because the more I faced apartheid, the more my family was strong enough to fight it. But the apartheid that I suffered indirectly, through the pain of those my family was trying to help, made me fight discrimination as I grew up.

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Isaac Newton Faris Jr. with a Portrait of Barack Obama: Personal Archive

What do you think America would be like if Martin Luther King Jr. lived?

If my uncle had been alive, America would have been more tolerant of skin.

What do you think your uncle would say about the current course of America?

I think my uncle would be happy to see America’s progress in tolerating and greatly reducing racial discrimination, but I think he would be concerned about the failure of American society to embrace its 100% nonviolent philosophy.

Do you think your uncle’s speech of August 28, 1963 – the famous “I have a dream”, in which he said he dreamed of racial equality and an end to discrimination – will one day come true?

It will come true, for sure, but not during my lifetime.

Martin Luther King Jr., Errol

January 15 marks the 92nd birth anniversary of human rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., known for the acronym MLK, was one of the most respected peace activists in the world and became a symbol of civil rights fighters. Color from usa from america.

Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most celebrated peace activists in history. Photo: The White House

In the 1950s and 1960s, he organized and led rallies in favor of the right to vote, for the abolition of apartheid and other basic civil rights for black Americans. Most of these laws – such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act – were enacted under Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, but he also met President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who supported him in combating racial discrimination. During the March for Freedom on August 28, 1963, MLK gave one of the most famous speeches in history to a huge crowd: “I have a dream.”

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He was killed April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, by James Earl Ray. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Gold Medal of the United States Congress in 2004. In 1986, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was declared a Federal Day in the United States. Also in 1977, he received a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Spoken Album for recording “Why I’m Against the War in Vietnam.”

Martin Luther King was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner to receive it in 1964, at the age of 35. In 1963, he was named Man of the Year by Time magazine, and in 2000 he was ranked sixth in the Internet’s “Person of the Century” ranking launched by the same magazine. It also ranked third on the list of Biggest Americans, started by AOL and the Discovery Channel. Streets in more than 730 cities across the United States bear his name.

On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan enacted a law establishing a federal holiday in his memory: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day was first celebrated on January 20, 1986. Since 1992, during the Bush administration, this day has been celebrated on the third day. Monday in January, to mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. On January 17, 2000, MLK Memorial Day was celebrated for the first time across the United States.

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US Ambassador Hans Klemm was impressed by the youth protests after the tragedy at the gathering: “I think Martin Luther King Jr. would have been very proud.”

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