Bernice King

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I'll do whatever I can, and leave the rest to God.

Bernice Albertine King (born March 28, 1963) is a Baptist minister. She is the youngest child of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.


  • I'll do whatever I can, and leave the rest to God.
  • The most intimidating part for me has to do with the whole legacy, and knowing it is a legacy in line with the Christian tradition. I think about Abraham and his son Isaac, and it's kind of frightening.
  • It is past time for New Hampshire to join the rest of America.
  • Sometimes a person has to point fingers, disclose double standards, call a spade a spade.'
  • She sparked a prairie fire that continues to blaze brightly in the hearts of freedom-loving people in all nations; and the non-violent revolution she set in motion continues to reverberate in nation after nation as an inspiration to human liberation movements everywhere. Rosa Parks provided us with a beautiful example of the power of one. How one courageous person can make a great difference in advancing human freedom. She showed us the power of humility and disciplined nonviolence in winning hearts and minds to support our freedom struggle; and she set for the entire world a vibrant example of African American womanhood fully engaged in the work of building a more just and decent society.
  • When I saw the funeral scene, I just broke down. I ran out of the cabin into the woods, and for nearly 2-1/2 hours, I just cried: "Why, God, did You take him?"
    • Reflection on experience at age sixteen in "Faces of Faith: A Connection Magazine Anthology" (2006), p. 82.
  • It's very difficult standing here blessed as her one and only sister. Yolanda, from your one and only, I thank you for being a sister and for being a friend.
  • I join with people of all races worldwide in mourning the death of this great lion of African liberation, but celebrating his magnificent life of service to the cause of freedom, human rights and justice for all humanity. Nelson Mandela’s life and leadership exemplified the highest courage, dignity and dedication to human liberation. His name will always resonate in my heart, as it does in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. His death marks the end of an era, when leaders of unsurpassed courage and integrity walked among us.
  • It is, deep in my soul, difficult to place what my father described as precious heirlooms under the custody of the government, even if only for a season. Yet, I recognize that justice and righteousness are not always aligned, and there is often a disconnect between God's law and man's law.
  • Many people don’t know that my mother was the driving force that kept my father’s legacy at the forefront of American consciousness. Dr. King was a great man, a scholar, philosopher, theologian, orator—a leader with character and integrity. But in 1968 there was no guarantee that he would be in the annals of history the way that he is today had it not been for her solidifying his legacy.
  • It was her primary goal to institutionalize his work, and she was the architect of the King legacy as we know it today. The King Center was a way for her to codify the methodology and ideology of the movement and give it longevity. Even with respect to the holiday in January, she worked to define it beyond memorializing him.
  • She created the idea of a day “on,” as opposed to a day “off.” She wanted it to become a holiday of community service so that people felt connected to his work and understood that the struggle continues. She believed that sacrifice is not something that is unrewarding. And ultimately, she wanted his legacy to expand into the realm of human rights. The journey began with civil rights for African Americans, but that was only just the beginning.
  • Let me first say that there are ongoing legal proceedings, so I am limited in my ability to speak about those issues. But I’m fully aware that there is a tendency in all of us, as a society, to romanticize people and their families, especially when their work is bigger than themselves. At the risk of sounding cliché, you can’t have rainbows without rain, or roses without thorns. It’s unrealistic for people to have great expectations of us and not allow for basic human normalcy. Our conflicts are reflective of our humanity. We are a family like all others and subject to the same struggles and unfortunate consequences with which all God’s people contend.
  • It is terribly inhumane to block pathways out of poverty because you didn’t need those pathways.
    • Aug 24, 2022 on Twitter


  • There is no teaching on the horrors and myriad of monstrous manifestations of white supremacy and racism that will be palatable to white supremacists and racists.
    • 8/18/2020 on Twitter
  • There is no form of protest against racism that is acceptable to racists.
    • 9/10/2020 on Twitter

"A Call for Prayer – and Action -- Against Violence in America" (2012)[edit]

King released statement on King Center website at [1], The King Center, (December 21, 2012)
  • The mind and heart reel at the thought of the sheer evil and brutality that makes such horrific tragedies possible as the killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Having lost a father and grandmother to gun violence, it is a familiar feeling to me, and I embrace the families of the victims in my heart and prayers. It is painful beyond measure to lose a loving father and grandmother to violence. But to lose a beloved child and the adults who were dedicated to educating the children to sudden, senseless violence in the midst of the holiday season must be a feeling that is beyond comprehension.
  • Once again, we face the reality that no one is safe, not even our children at their places of learning. The soul-shattering feelings of anger and despair we feel, along with a sense of hopelessness leave us wondering if our society is irrevocably infected with violence.
  • What we must not do is surrender to despair and hopelessness and the cynical assumption that there is nothing we can do. What we must do is turn our anger and outrage into a positive force for reforms that can help prevent future tragedies.
  • What, we wonder, can be done to prevent such unpredictable outbreaks of violence? No, we can’t always pinpoint when a specific individual will erupt in a spree of deadly violence. But it is just possible that we can begin to create a less violent society, a society in which nonviolent conflict reconciliation is a more widely-held value, a society in which individuals with serious mental health problems are more likely to be identified and more likely to receive needed treatment and care.
  • In addition to promoting awareness of nonviolence, it’s just possible – indeed it is absolutely critical – that we work with undaunted determination to create a sane firearms policy that makes it harder for disturbed individuals to secure weapons of mass murder. We can no longer afford to shirk this urgent responsibility.
  • Lastly, I would just call for a national day of prayer to promote healing for the families of the victims of violence in Newtown and the many other cities and towns which have experienced mass shootings and other forms of violence. With continued prayer and an equally-determined commitment to action for needed anti-violence reforms, let us resolve to work toward a new era in which every American child and every adult are protected from the ravages of brutality, safe and secure in our homes and schools and communities.

Press conference on Nobel Peace Prize and bible sale (2014)[edit]

Speech at press conference. Delivered on (6 February 2014) in Ebenezer Baptist Church, February 6, 2014. In this speech, Bernice King expresses her views on the then-ongoing sale of her father's Nobel Peace Prize and bible, which she was against and her brothers were in support of.
  • On January 20, as we observed my father's eighty fifth birthday and the King holiday, my brothers Dexter Scott King and Martin Luther King III notified me that they want to sell our father's most prized possessions; his personal traveling bible and Nobel Peace Prize awarded fifty years ago this year. The same bible that President Barack Obama was inaugurated on for his second term in office, in which he signed afterwards.
  • I stand before you as a child of the most high God and citizen of his kingdom, a daughter of the greatest movement of nonviolent social change in our world, a steward of the King legacy and an aggrieved, yet hopeful sister.
  • In the lawsuit, I've been accused of requiting and sequestering these items, but the reality is that my daddy's bible and Nobel Prize are hidden in plain sight. They know where they are, but perhaps God put them beyond their reach so that they don't misplace what has been bestowed and entrusted to us as custodians.
  • Our father must be turning in his grave.

Plea to congress open letter[edit]

  • Our country has experienced many divisive dark days, but God’s hand has guided us through it all.

External links[edit]

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