FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 6, 2015
Contact: Leslie Palma
Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, will join hundreds of people from around the world at the Selma50 observance on Sunday, March 8.
“They were marching for the right to vote back then. Hundreds of us will march to commemorate the price many paid, some with their lives, for the right for African-Americans to vote,” she said. “I will be marching and praying also for America to wake up to the fact that since 1973 over 55 million babies, about 18 million of them Black, have been legally aborted in America. They died before they were able to grow up and vote. There is a connection here. As my Uncle ML once said: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ said Dr. King.
Alveda recalls her father, Rev. A.D. King, coming home from Selma 50 years ago and telling his children how bad it was. By that time, she was already well versed in the strategy of non-violent protests, so she was not shaken by the events, even though she was just 14 years old.
“We were not afraid,” Alveda said. “We knew God was with us. We had to remain nonviolent and trust God. My mother, Naomi Ruth Barber King, an activist in her own rights, has befriended the daughter of Viola Liuzzo who lost her life shortly after Bloody Sunday, on March 25, as she drove a black man from Montgomery to Selma. Mother often talks about the courage of those who fought so valiantly during those days.”
All protesters were trained in methods of nonviolent conflict resolution before going out to march. They all even signed a covenant to follow the Ten Commandments of the civil rights movement. They never knew if they would live to see another day.
The first commandment was “Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.” The rest stressed following those teachings through nonviolent protest.
While Alveda didn’t march at Selma, she did first put her training to the test two years earlier when she participated in the 1963 Children’s Crusade March in Birmingham. That same year, on May 11, 1963, A.D. King’s home was bombed.
Alveda King said the thing she remembers most about the bombing was her father calming down the ensuing riot.
She recalls that AD grabbed a bullhorn and stood on top of a car and said “Don’t fight back; don’t throw rocks. If you’re going to kill somebody, kill me; but I’d rather you pray.”
Years later, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, A.D. King used his words not to calm a riot, but to calm his daughter.
Alveda said she was “devastated by Uncle ML’s murder”, and even went so far as to want to hate someone. But her father helped her stay focused on nonviolence: “Alveda, White people marched with us, prayed with us, and died with us,” he said “The devil killed your uncle.”
Her father ADK, her famous uncle MLK, her grandparents MLK, Sr. and Alberta Williams King, and even her great grandparents were all Christian leaders who embraced the love of God, and nonviolent conflict resolution. One of the family’s major scripture foundations is derived from Acts 17:26: “Of one blood, God created all people to live on the earth.”
A year after the death of MLK, A.D. King was found dead in his swimming pool. While there was no water in his lungs, the cause of death was labeled as a drowning accident. Alveda “found the strength to carry on the King Family Legacy by faith in God and His love.”
Today Alveda King continues to fight for civil rights and is involved today, not only for continued racial equality, but for the rights of the unborn child.
Dr. Alveda King is a non-denominational minister, author of the book KING RULES, and is the Director of African-American Outreach with Priests for Life.