Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Son of civil rights legend Martin Luther King to visit Derry

The son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King will be the keynote speaker at an a peace-building ceremony event in Londonderry as part of a four-day visit to the city later this month.

Almost 50 years after Dr Martin Luther King gave his inspiring ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in Washington DC, the US civil rights leader’s eldest son will attend the climax of the cross-community Bright Brand New Day initiative.

Joining Martin Luther King III on the platform of Guildhall Square will be mayors of London and Derry, Boris Johnson and Kevin Campbell. Entertainment will be provided by singers Phil Coulter, The Priests and a choir of 600 schoolchildren from Derry and Donegal.

Martin Luther King III has been to the fore in campaigning on issues including Aids, gun-ownership, police brutality and racial-profiling. A Bright Brand New Day is a cross-community, cross-border peace-building project running alongside the UK City of Culture programme. Its organisers say they want to address deep hurts in Northern Ireland and to begin building the foundations to enable the city to become a better place.

The project’s chairman, Dr David Latimer, said: “If anyone can be used to re-energise a fragile peace process and empower a city and its people to believe that a new life can be shaped, it is Martin Luther King III.

“Mr King has previously said, ‘If we do not find that we have more in common than we do apart we will crash’.

“To secure a man of such international renown, at a time when people are beginning to lose faith in the political process, is extremely fortuitous.”

Mr King will also visit Parliament Buildings at Stormont for talks with MLAs.

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