VP Kamala Harris says freedom to vote ‘under assault’ at Ebenezer MLK service

ATLANTA — More than 60 years after his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is still inspiring people to be better and for children to have a world closer to what King envisioned — one of peace and equality.

The Fuller family went to Ebenezer Baptist Church Monday to not only be inspired by messages from the King family and national leaders, but to remember the racial equality accomplished in this country.

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“We always bring our kids down to celebrate the day,” Megan Fuller said. “He would be proud of some ways that we have improved, and he would be pushing for us to do more. There’s always room for improvement. Each of us. Everyone.”

The King Center held its annual celebration of King’s life on his holiday.

It’s a time the whole nation honors the man who fought for civil and human rights and was killed for thinking we could create an equal and just world.

During the service, Bernice King said her father’s nonviolent movement is still relevant today.

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“Nonviolence is relevant, powerful and strategic for changing unjust ideologies, policies, systems and practices,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris said that the American right to vote is “under assault” during her virtual remarks in the ceremony.

“Anti-voter laws are being passed that could make it more difficult for as many as 55 million Americans to vote,” Harris said.

Harris said Monday that to truly honor King’s legacy, we must continue to fight for the freedom to vote.

This year’s service had a smaller audience because of COVID-19 protocols and fewer people outside because of colder temperatures.

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Elsie Dunn said her hope is one day King’s message of judging people by how they act, not because they’re Black, will come true.

“He believed in one day we should all come together, and we will all be one. That was his speech,” Dunn said.

Gov. Brian Kemp also spoke virtually at Monday’s ceremony.

“(He) saw a great injustice in his world and fought to right that wrong,” Kemp said in his recorded message. “His methods ultimately led to success and showed all of us that taking the high road is the best path to achieving lasting change.”

King, who delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech while leading the 1963 March on Washington and who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, considered racial equality inseparable from alleviating poverty and stopping war. His insistence on nonviolent protest continues to influence activists pushing for civil rights and social change.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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