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Martin Luther King III asks Port Arthur youth to show strength, follow their conscience

Martin Luther King III delivered words of wisdom to the Port Arthur graduates that are part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Support Group of Southeast Texas via Zoom and Facebook Live on Tuesday.

King asked the graduates of their plans, their blueprints for the future as he looked back on the things his mother, Coretta Scott King, and his family taught him; to have love for himself, love of family, love for community, and love for God.

He went on to tell them to build their life plan on a solid foundation because there is absolutely nothing they cannot achieve.

“My dad used to say to me the ultimate measure of a human being is not where one stands in times of comfort and convenience but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy,” King III said. “He said on some questions, cowards ask the question, ‘Is a position safe?’ Expedients ask the question, ‘Is a position politics?’ Vanity asks if a position is popular, but something deep inside called conscience asks, ‘Is the position right?’”

Hargie Faye Savoy, founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Support Group of Southeast Texas, speaks with graduates. (Screenshot)

King III said his father, a civil rights icon, stressed one must sometimes take positions that are neither safe nor popular nor politic, but because our consciences tell us they’re right.

“And so during this time and throughout our lives, we must ask the question, ‘What does our conscience tell us?’” King III said.

He recalled a time when his mother took him to Antioch College, where there were statues all around and the one that claimed his attention was of the educator Horace Mann — not for the statue but for the inscription.

“Be ashamed to due until you have won some victory for humanity,” he said, thinking this was a monumental task.

He broke the sentence down; you can win victories in your neighborhood, school, city, county and so forth, but “be ashamed to die until you make the world in which you live a little better,” he said.

The special event was brought together by the Martin Luther King Jr. Support Group of Southeast Texas, which was started by Hargie Faye Savoy at the request of Coretta Scott King.

Savoy said now is an important time to keep the group moving forward with Dr. King’s vision as she and others congratulated the seniors that include Beyonce Banks, Joshua Dennis, Taylor Getwood, SeanLexia Jones, Destini Monae Laster and Myreaka Maxwell — all of whom are accepted to a college or university.