MLK’s Daughter, Dr. Bernice King, Speaks Out On Party Promoters Using Her Dad’s Image For Twerk Parties

January 14, 2014  |  

What are you doing on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. day? Some might head to King’s memorial in the National Mall in D.C. Others might watch one of the many biopics/TV movies done on his life. But if you’re a party promoter, you might throw a very random and ratchet twerk party for teenagers. Seriously, this stuff happens.

Our writer, Charing Ball, spoke about the issue with using MLK’s image for an array of unauthorized things and just plain ol’ tacky things, including parties, in an essay last year. But in an interview with Fox 5 that aired last night, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Bernice King, spoke about her own disappointment with her father’s image being used for such juvenile stuff, as more MLK-themed “twerk” parties are scheduled to happen this weekend. One that is catching a great deal of attention is a shindig in Michigan this weekend called the “Freedom 2 Twerk” party, but quite a few went on last year too (including the “Bopping For Peace” party in Chicago and others in Alabama, Florida and even Ontario, Canada).

“I feel like we have failed to reach these (groups).

This imagery thing is just appalling, and it’s almost embarrassing. For me, as his daughter, it’s like ‘wow’, I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad.

It’s one thing if they want to party in celebration. Its another thing when you take his actual image and suggest he is down with it like that.

I’m sad, really, that it’s come to the point where there’s a generation that has no appreciation and understanding for what my father stood for. It suggests to me we’ve got a lot of work to do to reach them.”

And work is what Dr. Bernice King wants to do, suggesting that the King Center will contact activists and community organizers in the places that the parties are supposed to take place. She wants to have an open dialogue with them about what can be done to reach young people there so they know more about her father’s contributions to their freedoms, and in turn, take the day meant to honor his life more seriously.

What do you think about the party promotions?

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