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Bernice A. King
Born the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. Over the years, she has had the occasion to speak in such places as The White House, DuPont Corp., Warner-Lambert Corporation, AT&T, NIKE, USANA Health Sciences, University of Toledo, Xavier University, University of North Carolina, Duke University, Pepperdine University, Department of Defense, Salvation Army, and in such places as Sydney, Australia, Lubeck, Germany, Auckland, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few. In the summer of 2000, she narrated the “Lincoln Portrait” along with a symphony orchestra in Keil, Germany at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

A graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Law Degrees from Emory University, Bernice received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Wesley College. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Georgia. On January 30, 2007, the 1st year anniversary of her mother’s death, Bernice returned to her alma-mater at Spelman College to announce the establishment of the “Be A King Scholarship in honor of Coretta Scott King.”

With a strong concern for community and family partnership, Bernice was privileged to serve as a law clerk in the Fulton County Juvenile Court system, under Judge Glenda Hatchett, who was host of the nationally syndicated Judge Hatchett show. It was there that she realized that a growing number of teens have been double victims: first of society and secondly of an ineffective legal system based in retribution instead of rehabilitation. She has also served as a mentor to a group of 5th grade girls at an inner-city Atlanta elementary school, where she spent time molding their character and values so that one day they too would become a force to be reckoned with in the world. In keeping with this vision, in 2007 Bernice spoke at the inauguration of the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) where she gave the charge to the 6th grade girls who would be attending the new all-girls school. She reminded them that they were making history because they were among the first chosen to attend this school and as a result they would be expected to set the trend that others would follow. She continues to serve as a mentor for the young ladies at CSKYWLA. In January of 2011, Bernice launched the “100 Days of Nonviolence” campaign at CSKYWLA to expose them to nonviolence as modeled by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Kingian Nonviolence”), and to encourage them to begin embracing it as a way of life. She challenges these young ladies to combat bullying, fighting, and negative attitudes by using their tongue in a manner that is positive and uplifting.

Bernice founded Be A King, whose mission is to re-brand and re-image generations of people to elevate the way they Think, Act, Live, and Lead. In September 2007, she launched the first Be A King Summit in Montgomery, Alabama on the campus of Alabama State University. Through Be A King she hopes to develop a nation of young people who will impact the global marketplace and transform the world culture with a KINGdom mindset.

Bernice has been featured on such shows as, Oprah, BET Talk with Tavis Smiley and the Judge Hachett Show to name a few and in such magazines as People Magazine, Ebony, Essence, Ladies Home Journal, Gospel Today and Charisma Magazine. In 2005, the American Legacy Magazine recognized her as a “Woman of Strength and Courage.” She has also guest hosted a live lunchtime television show on CNN. In April 2008, Bernice was one of the fifteen delegates selected to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the United States. She also received the “2009 Lifetime Achievement Advocate Award” from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.

Recently, Bernice agreed to serve on the HOPE Southeastern Board of Directors of Operation HOPE. She also serves on the Board of the inaugural Regions Diversity Advisory Council for Regions Financial, which was established in May 2010. In January 2012, she was appointed by the Board of Trustees as Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother in 1968.

As an author, she has to her credit, her book, Hard Questions, Heart Answers.

From September 2010 through August 2011, Bernice did a weekly hour and a half radio segment entitled: “Raise the Standard” on Praise 102.5 FM in Atlanta with Rhodell Lewis. She covered a broad array of topics which included: Immigration Reform, Educational Reform, Health and Wellness, Teen Violence, Teen Sexuality, High School Dropout, Voting Responsibility, Love, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Why Should I Marry?, Being Single and Celibate, Childproofing your Children, and Parenting on the Edge.

Entries by Bernice A. King

A Holiday in My Heart... Honoring Coretta Scott King as a Legacy Builder on Her Birthday

(11) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Today, April 27th, we celebrate my mother, Coretta Scott King's, 88th birthday. It has been a holiday in my heart for as long as I can remember, a day when I give thanks to God for the blessing and privilege of being her daughter.

My mother made countless sacrifices so...

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50 Years Later... Once More, Nonviolence

(37) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 9:51 AM

"Once more the method of nonviolent resistance was unsheathed from its scabbard, and once again an entire community was mobilized to confront the adversary."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

On Wednesday, I stood on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery before thousands of people and repeated these...

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Echoes From Selma... Struggle Is a Never Ending Process

(13) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 3:44 AM

Across the globe, people are remembering Selma. Selma. The name itself evokes images of a disenfranchised, yet courageous, people who valiantly marched across Edmund Pettus Bridge, facing daunting police officers, tear gas and vicious dogs. And black people were joined by many who did not share their skin tone, but...

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An Open Letter to the Young People of the American Horse School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota

(79) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 7:45 PM

I was deeply disturbed by reports that a group of about fifty children, young people and their chaperones in your community were subjected to physical and verbal abuse during a minor league hockey game in Rapid City, South Dakota. I understand that the children, as young as 8 years old,...

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Fair Housing on the Ropes: The U.S. Supreme Court Hears Housing Discrimination Case

(52) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 3:09 PM

Forty nine years ago, my father gave a powerful address to the Chicago Freedom Movement Rally at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. There, he emphasized that Black and Brown families were living in "rat-infested slums." Worse, minorities were paying a higher rent for less space while Whites, paying less in...

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What's in a Name: Senate Subcommittee Drops 'Civil Rights and Human Rights' From Name

(62) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 10:39 AM

As our nation grapples with immigration reform, the deaths of unarmed black citizens at the hands of law enforcement, voter disfranchisement and the United States Supreme Court's possible nullification of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, I am disheartened by the decision made by Senator John Cornyn, the incoming Chairman...

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Revisiting My Father's Nobel Acceptance Speech, 50 Years Later

(9) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 4:58 PM

"I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice."

Fifty years ago, on December 10, 1964, my father, Martin Luther King, Jr.,

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A Foundation for Change in Post-Ferguson America

(77) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 9:57 AM

The slaying of Michael Brown has cast a tragic pall over race relations in America, and the faces of his heart-broken parents provide the emblematic image of the summer of 2014. It should have been otherwise.

As the investigation into the facts of this horrifying incident proceeds, we are left...

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King's Legacy of Peace for Our World

(12) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 8:09 AM

csk kids
Martin Luther King, Jr. reads with his family, including daughter Bernice.

As I reflect on the legacy of my father, the greatest aspect is his legacy of peace. He reminded us that "the choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence; it...

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Honoring Mandela: A Better Man, Not a Bitter Man

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 4:07 PM

The death of Nelson Mandela on December 5th -- also the very day the modern American Civil Rights Movement began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 -- marked for me the end of an era when leaders of unsurpassed courage and integrity walked among us. Although there are great...

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JFK's Still-Vibrant Example Continues to Inspire Millions

(41) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 5:53 PM

On November 22, 1963, I was not quite 8 months old, too young to realize the enormity of what happened on that tragic day, when our nation was awash in tears and despair. But I've read a lot about why the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a transformational...

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A Call for Prayer -- and Action -- Against Violence in America

(18) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 11:22 AM

The mind and heart reel at the thought of the sheer evil and brutality that makes such horrific tragedies possible as the killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Having lost a father and grandmother to gun violence, it is a familiar feeling to me, and I embrace...

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Nonviolence or Nonexistence: On the Aurora Killings

(12) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 2:41 PM

As an organization committed to the eradication of all forms of violence, The King Center deplores the killing of anyone, anywhere, for any reason. But we are particularly horrified by the senseless slaughter of 12 innocent people and wounding of 58 more, including children as young as 3 months of...
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