MLK Jr.'s Granddaughter Delivers Powerful Speech At March On Washington

by Madison Vanderberg
Originally Published: 
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Martin Luther King Jr.’s granddaughter Yolanda Renee King gives powerful speech on the 57th anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech

On Friday, August 28, 2020, Martin Luther King Jr.’s 12-year-old granddaughter Yolanda Renee King gave a powerful speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the same place Reverend King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech 57 years ago. Thousands of protesters gathered in Washington D.C. today for the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” March on Washington — calling for criminal justice reform and racial equality, and to honor the late Martin Luther King Jr.

Taking it upon herself to uphold her grandfather’s legacy in his fight for civil and racial justice, Yolanda’s confident and rousing speech spoke directly to her generation, to kids, asking them to join her and continue to march, and protest, and rally for justice and change.


“Great challenges produce great generations. We have mastered the selfie and TikTok…Now we must master ourselves,” she told the giant crowd. “My generation has already taken to the streets — peacefully and with masks and social distancing — to protest racism. And I want to ask the young people here to join me in pledging that we have only just begun to fight — and that we will be the generation that moves from me to we. We are going to be the generation that dismantles systemic racism once and for all, now and forever. We are going to be the generation that calls a halt to police brutality and gun violence once and for all, now and forever.”

“Less than a year before he was assassinated, my grandfather predicted this very moment,” she continued. “He said that we were moving into a new phase of the struggle. The first phase was for civil rights and the new phase is a struggle for genuine equality.”

Yolanda was joined at the podium by her father, Martin Luther King III, who later shared on Instagram how proud he was of his activist daughter.

“As she said in her speech today, she is part of the generation that will change the world,” he wrote. “They will dismantle systemic racism, call a halt to police brutality and gun violence, reverse climate change to save the planet, and end poverty. She is the future. She is my father’s dream.”

After leading the crowd in a rousing protest chant, she honored her grandfather one last time, shouting out, “Papa King, we won’t forget.”

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