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Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, Daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Visits Jefferson


Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, Dr. Stephen Klasko, and TJU senior Nia Wilson

On January 26, the third annual Jefferson Salutes Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Vision featured a "fireside chat" with Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, Dr. Stephen Klasko, and Jefferson University senior Nia Wilson. The conversation was part of a celebration that began on the January 15 Martin Luther King Holiday, when Jefferson faculty, students, and staff and their families took part in a day of community service to honor Dr. King’s vision for equality and justice.

Rev. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the esteemed civil rights leader, is chief executive officer of the King Center, which was founded by her mother, Coretta Scott King, in 1968. Rev. King spoke glowingly of her mother and her strength and fierce determination as a partner to Dr. King. She recalled the work Coretta Scott King devoted to elevating her husband’s birthday to a national holiday, her father’s uncompromising stance toward nonviolence, the sacrifices and achievements of the civil rights movement, and the remaining work of rooting out systemic racism—including healthcare inequity—built into American institutions and culture.

Noting that Carmen Ejogo had played Coretta Scott King in the film Selma, Dr. Klasko asked what actress Rev. King felt would suitably portray her mother. Rev. King responded that actress Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable in the sitcom The Cosby Show, had a striking resemblance.