“My name is Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King,” said the 9-year-old girl addressing an enraptured crowd gathered in Washington, DC on March 24. “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
“I have a dream that enough is enough! And that this should be a gun-free world, period!” Yolanda proclaimed, standing next to Parkland survivor Jaclyn Corin at the 'March for Our Lives' rally.
King wore an orange gun violence awareness ribbon pinned to her coat, inspiring marchers and an international TV audience with her vision. She stood not far away from the site of her grandfather's famous 'I Have A Dream Speech', delivered 55 years ago at the March on Washington.
It's doubtful that America will achieve Yolanda King's dream of a gun-free world, given an accepted right enshrined in the US Constitution to own guns to hunt or protect oneself. Many of us imagine victory as getting assault weapons off American streets and instituting universal background checks, no exceptions.
For me, Yolanda Renee King left us with an even greater gift: HOPE.
As Donald Trump and his wrecking crew try to take America back to the 1950s, where white men ruled, activism needs HOPE and that hope can only come from our young people, who will lead a new wave of demands for racial, gender-based and economic justice in America, free from the stereotypes deeply embedded in the American psyche.