The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks beside Martin Luther King III, during the One Thousand Ministers March for Justice rally in Washington, Aug. 28, 2017. The rally, organized by Sharptons National Action Network, falls on the 54th anniversary of the March on Washington. (Tom Brenner/The New York Times)

Dexter and Martin King III miss unveiling of father’s statue

Bernice King, the youngest of the King children, who has emerged as the most active and vocal of the King siblings, noted her brothers’ absences during her remarks. Dexter King, who lives in Atlanta and on the West Coast, remained in Los Angeles for the event.

King III was participating in the “One Thousand Ministers March for Justice” in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. Today also marks the 54th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963, at which King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of King, said the absence of his cousins was overshadowed by the family’s pride in what was happening. The King statue, on the east side of the Capitol grounds, marks the first time a non-elected African-American has been so honored by the state.

“From a family perspective, the unveiling was very moving and touching,” Farris said. “In light of everything happening across the country, it was very meaningful that a relative is so honored. And when you factor in his legacy, it was an amazing day. I noticed my mother (Christine King Farris) kind of shed a tear because it was so moving to her.”

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