One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous quotes is inscribed along a wall at the slain civil rights leader's new national memorial. The quote says, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous quotes is inscribed along a wall at the slain civil rights leader's new national memorial. The quote says, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Amy Ta/NPR
Host Michel Martin, Ambassador Andrew Young and Martin Luther King III continue their conversation about the dedication of the national memorial to the slain civil rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The site opened to the public on Monday and will be officially dedicated Sunday, which will be the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington, where King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered.
Martin Luther King III says people are hungry for a different way of conflict resolution, and the monument can galvanize so much.
But the monument is what it is, says the younger King. "It can inspire, it can encourage. But we, through other organizations, have to continue this massive body of work. My dad talked about eradicating poverty, racism and militarism. We've made strides in race – great strides – but when you look at poverty and militarism in terms of expenditures, we've probably made very little progress. And unfortunately, poverty is growing, so there's still a huge body of work that has to be done."
To help establish all that, King's widow Coretta Scott King, Ambassador Young and others launched the Martin Luther King Center after King's death.
But is it bittersweet for the younger King that his mother and sister Yolanda passed away before the monument was completed?
"Absolutely," he says. "That is probably one of the most painful kind of things in a way, because over the years, this could not have happened without mother saying, 'This is wonderful.' And we owe a great deal of gratitude to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the foundation that they established to create this body of work," he says.
The statue shows King emerging from a stone extracted from a mountain.
The statue shows King emerging from a stone extracted from a mountain. Amy Ta/NPR
Another New Venture
King and Young are forming the new broadcast television network Bounce TV. It is designed as a network for anyone who's interested in black-oriented programming. It will also offer religious programming and films. And it will be free.
"This is not a cable package, where you pay money for cable. Anyone can get it. And there are a number of folks in our country now who are having to make choices. They're having to move away from paying for cable so they can pay for something else. So this is free access for everyone all over America," King says.
Young said this is an avenue for the minority community to spread their creativity. Many Bounce TV workers are under age 40 but boast significant experience in television. They've worked with BET, NBC Sports and other companies.
The Civil Rights Movement was built around communications, and when he and Dr. King were in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, they could not get on a single radio station.
Now Bounce TV can provide a whole area of communication and access to an audience that nobody is reaching, he says.