Political Rewind: Reflecting on Dr. King's legacy as fight for voting rights continues
A visitor walks through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as a winter storm blows through the Washington area, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. Ceremonies scheduled for the site on Monday, to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday have been canceled because of the weather. Credit: J. David Ake, AP
Jim Galloway — Former political columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael Thurmond — CEO, DeKalb County
Al Vivian — President and CEO, Basic Diversity
Maria Saporta — Founder and editor, The Saporta Report
Dr. Fred Smith — Professor of Constitutional Law, Emory University
1. Georgia and Atlanta are linked to the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.
- King was born on January 15, 1929 in an Atlanta house on 501 Auburn Avenue.
- MLK delivered many of his most powerful sermons nearby in Ebenezer Baptist Church. He served as co-pastor of the church with his father from 1960 to1968.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change was established by his wife Coretta Scott King in Atlanta in the 1960s. It is now a historical landmark.
- Coretta Scott King also pushed for her husband's birthday, January 15th, to become a national holiday. Congress passed the law in 1983. The first observance was in 1986.
Emory University Constitutional law professor Fred Smith said King's legacy is a call to action for Americans today.
2. Voting rights legislation, an issue linked intrinsically to King's legacy, is stalled in the Senate.
- This comes after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta last Tuesday to push for the cause.
- On Thursday, Biden admitted he may not have the votes to get voting rights legislation passed.
- The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Since then it has been reauthorized five times with large bipartisan majorities. The last time it was passed was in 2006 under then-president George W. Bush.
3. The King Family heads to Washington, D.C., to push for voting rights.
- The family plans to lead a march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day across the Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge over the Anacostia River near the U.S. Capitol.
No celebration without legislation. On January 17, join me to honor my father and the #MLKLegacy as we call on Congress and the White House to eliminate the Jim Crow filibuster and pass voting rights to protect millions of Black and Brown voters. #DeliverForVotingRights pic.twitter.com/JQ726iaRYi— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) December 15, 2021
Tomorrow on Political Rewind: We are set to be joined by author Farah Stockman to discuss her book, "American Made."
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