Martin Luther King Jr.'s Granddaughter Joins Push For Federal Voting Rights

Yolanda Renee King

Photo: Getty Images

Yolanda Renee King is your average 13-year-old. She plays basketball, jokes on social media and leads social justice campaigns for voting rights. Normal, right? As the sole granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Yolanda carries the weight of her family's legacy, but she makes it look extremely easy for someone of her age. She's collaborated with People For The American Way and spoke at National Mall last summer. In a recent interview with Briana Stewart of ABC News, the 13-year-old change maker opened up about her activism, future goals and much more.

"I do consider myself an activist," King explained to Stewart.

"Anyone who uses their platform for good, that's what activism is all about."

King takes after her father, Martin Luther King III, who also advocates for voting rights. Recently, ABC News reported that the 13-year-old and her father were detained during a voting rights protest outside of the White House. Together, the daughter-father duo aims to overcome Republican opposition to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

"We are planning to come back, especially after what we saw from Congress [on Wednesday]. They blocked these bills again and it's really frustrating," she informed Stewart.

"It's sad and disappointing that we are still facing the same issues that we did 58 years ago. We really need to make more progress. And while I think about how much of an honor it is for me to be doing what my grandfather and family did, it's concerning that we're battling the same issues that they did."

King isn't discouraged by what took place in November. From her viewpoint, she's just continuing her grandfather's legacy.

"I would say it was around fourth grade when I really understood the significance of my grandparents' work. That's when it really clicked for me," King told ABC News.

"Even now, I'm learning stuff every day and I find myself asking questions when looking at some of their demonstrations and how they were beaten.

While she is only 13-years-old, King appears to already know what she's going to do moving forward. As an international human rights lawyer, King feels that she can change the world for the better.

"I want to be an international human rights lawyer. I can really help people and not just on a national level, but on a global level as well," King stated.

"What I hope to do is to make this world much better than it was when I first came."

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