Though it’s been over 50 years since his passing, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of equality and justice still ring true today.
Today on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we remember the Baptist minister and activist for his efforts in advancing civil rights to all Americans.
Throughout our seven seasons, “The Real” has honored MLK Day by reflecting on how Dr. King’s legacy has positively shaped our world.
See our past celebrations, below.
Loni’s Special MLK Day Message
Back in 2015, Loni shared a special message on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that urged viewers to follow their dreams.
“We just want to take a moment to give thanks to Dr. King because right now, we at this table are living our dream,” Loni said, referencing the diversity of our talent.
“Don’t lose sight of what today represents and go after your dreams,” she continued. “Believe me! That can come true. It happened for us.”
Why We Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2016, the hosts of “The Real” discussed Dr. King’s contributions by reflecting on how far our country has come.
“We’re coming a long way, but… this show wouldn’t be here today if we didn’t have the actions of Dr. King and civil rights workers,” Loni noted.
While explaining how Dr. King “gave us a voice,” Adrienne addressed the beautiful diversity of our studio audience.
“You would not be sitting next to the person that’s sitting next to you. You wouldn’t be allowed to. I look into this audience and see such a beautiful blend of faces,” Ade said.
“When people watch us, they don’t only just see color; they see these amazing different personalities,” Tam added.
Dr. Bernice King Joins Us from Atlanta
In 2017, Dr. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and wife Coretta Scott King, joined us from Atlanta to discuss her father’s impact.
“Because I believe my father was a prophet, I think he kind of foresaw where we are today because he tried to forewarn us of the things we needed to do, the adjustments we needed to make as a nation. He challenged us to deal with the last vestiges of racism, and also, to make a serious adjustment in terms of our value system, that we should put people first instead of profit,” Dr. Bernice said when asked what she thought her father would make of present-day America.
“So, I think he would still have an abiding faith in the future. He was a very optimistic man and he would be praying and acting and helping us to really move toward looking at the root causes of many of our issues in this society,” she added.
What Would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Say Today?
Three years later in 2020, “The Real” discussed a tweet from Dr. Bernice King that read, “People often ask me, ‘What would he say were he alive today?’ He’s said it. We’re just not listening. He beckoned us far above civility.”
In response, Adrienne believes the tweet is referencing how society treats certain groups of people.
“There is a group of people crying out, saying, ‘Listen to us. Be empathetic to us. Recognize there is inequality. Recognize there is injustice.’ And I feel people just need to listen to that,” Ade said.
To address this, Loni believes Americans should be active in our democracy, and vote for policies that promote justice.
“It’s about being part of the process. If we’re going to be in this country, we have to be part of the process,” Loni noted. “That’s why I push education so much. We need to be voted in to change some of these laws, some of these policies, so that we can have an equal share.”