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Aday after celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we would be remiss if we didn’t also honor the legacy of his father Rev. Martin Luther King Sr.

The man, known as “Daddy King,” was a powerful civil rights leader in his own right. He became pastor of the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1931 and later led efforts to encourage African-Americans to register to vote.

Rev. King also fought to get equal pay for Black teachers. He once said he believed his son’s non-violent philosophy was “the correct path.”

He died in 1984, sixteen years after his son was tragically killed.

Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Senior Fellow at the King Center, grandson of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and nephew of Dr. King Jr., spoke with NewsOne Now on Monday morning about the legacy of the patriarch of the King family.

Farris explained the story of Rev. King Sr. is “truly an American story,” in which the eldest King worked his way up as the son of second generation sharecroppers. Farris said Rev. King started elementary school at 16 years of age, went on to finish studying at Morehouse College, became the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and later gave the world Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Addressing the current political and social climate of the United States, Farris said: “We’ve reached the point where the country is changing demographically and that’s causing some fear and some of that fear I think is legitimate, but it is causing people––as fear does a lot of time––to react irrationally.”

Farris added that as Black Americans, we have to recognize the fears as well as irrational behavior taking place in the nation. He added if we don’t recognize it, “We’re not going to be able to make any more progress.”

Watch NewsOne Now guest host Lauren Victoria Burke, Issac Newton Farris, Jr. and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the autobiography of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. in the video clip above.

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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‘Daddy King’ Autobiography Offers Glimpse Into The Inspiration Behind MLK  was originally published on