The most memorable aspect of the “Restoring Honor Rally” was the segment led by Alveda King. I was asked by Dr. King to share the stage with her along with 5 other African-American leaders and 2 incredible singers. She took great delight in turning her allotted time into a mini-church service of its own. After two songs emphasing rebuilding the house of God and unity in the church combined with appropriate scriptures, Dr. King thanked Beck for convening the event. She boldly declared that Glenn had focused on “the content of our character and not the color of our skin.” This, as you will recall, was at the heart of the MLK dream. Her short speech was masterfully crafted. Her words pierced the atmosphere like Fourth of July fireworks after sundown. “I have a dream that white privilege will become human privilege...I have a dream that America will pray and God will forgive our sins and revive our land...”—these were just a few of her most poignant phrases.
As she spoke the crowd rose to its feet. There was electricity in her interaction with the crowd that was more dynamic than at any other point in the rally. She received the largest cheers of the day.
“What made Alveda King so effective on Saturday?” was a question that ran through my mind. I realized that personal, Christ-like suffering brought on by her standing up for her convictions has produced a unique grace in her life. Many people do not realize that she has a particular “responsibility” to speak out on civil rights. Her responsibility is born out of the fact that both her father and his brother (Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. ) were martyred during the civil rights movement - just one year apart. Martin died first, followed by his younger brother A.D. (Alveda’s father).
Although I have known Dr. Alveda King for years, I just recently learned from her website that she is also a mother of 8 children and a “doting” grandmother. On top of all these life experience credentials and degrees in journalism, sociology, and business administration, she actually served her state in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1978 to 1981. It is sufficient to say that she is a serious woman who has done serious work in her community. After Dr. King spoke, it seemed to me that the mantle for leadership had returned to the King family and to a multi-racial group of champions.
Rev. Sharpton correctly assumed that August 28th would mark the beginning of a new civil rights movement. He was told by his cronies that he would be crowned as the king of a new movement. Unfortunately for him, his leadership days are numbered because a new “Black Robed Regiment” is being raised up in the US - with Alveda King as one of its generals. Beck’s rally and these new spiritual leaders out-recruited Sharpton by a ratio of 200 to 1 on August 28th. They are convinced that they will lead the nation into a new era of racial harmony and a spiritual awakening just as transforming as the physical American Revolution was in the 1700s.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.