WTVM Exclusive: Dr. Bernice King talks about father's legacy ahead of Columbus visit

Part 1 of 4: Exclusive interview with Dr. Bernice King

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Urban League of Greater Columbus is marking a milestone this weekend hosting their 20th annual Equal Opportunity Dinner, and the guest speaker will be Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

WTVM's Barbara Gauthier traveled to Atlanta on Wednesday for an exclusive interview with King ahead of her visit Saturday.

King talked about many issues including race relations, politics, education and the long-suffering road to her father's dream.

She also talked about the pressure she feels being the daughter of the famous civil rights icon.

"There is a lot of pressure," says King. "It comes from every angle but what has helped me is what my mother used to tell us growing up. You don't have to be me, you don't have to be your father, just be your best self."

King works on being her "best self" as she strives to carry on her father's legacy as Chief Executive Officer at the King Center in Atlanta. She travels the country speaking about equality and equity for people of all races.

She says it doesn't surprise her, but saddens her to see that all these years after her father's death, the nation still struggles with these issues.

"He gave us a message, a warning almost, that we had to change our priorities, our values, or we would spiral into this cycle of self-defeating and destruction." King says.

King believes educating young people about how things impact their lives from politics to the environment is a key step to ending what she calls a destructive cycle.

She says organizations like the Urban League, SCLC and NAACP must continue their efforts toward equality for all, but she says these agencies must come together collectively to truly make a difference.

"We haven't yet mastered in our communities how to truly collaborate, if you're talking about collective impact we've got to figure out how to become a true collective cause we're making some small strides, but we're in need now of great strides," King says.

King is the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King; she was only 5 years old when her father was assassinated 48 years ago.

The Urban League of Greater Columbus will hold its Equal Opportunity Dinner on Saturday night at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.

Reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30. Barbara Gauthier will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event. WTVM is a proud sponsor.

MOBILE USERS: To see each part of the exclusive interview, click here.

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