MLK's son joins Mayor Nutter to discuss racial inequality

At a City Hall news conference, Martin Luther King III (right) meets with Mayor Nutter.
At a City Hall news conference, Martin Luther King III (right) meets with Mayor Nutter. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 09, 2013

Almost 50 years after his father spoke before thousands during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King III said Wednesday that the nation is still struggling to solve racial conflict.

King appeared with Mayor Nutter at a news conference with the theme of addressing modern challenges to equal rights, particularly in Philadelphia.

King said poor public education, a justice system that failed Trayvon Martin, and a recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down some provisions of the Voting Rights Act highlight underlying conflicts yet to be solved. He occasionally slowed for emphasis as his voice boomed through the high-ceilinged room at City Hall.

He said unemployment was a major problem but not the only one, adding, "Our problems are so complex today in our nation."

Many times in his opening remarks, Nutter brought up Philadelphia's public school funding issues in relation to goals to end poverty and high rates of violence among African American males.

"Young black men are dying on our streets every day," Nutter said. "We need to work to continue to promote change."

State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.), State Rep. Jordan Harris (D., Phila.), and Councilman David Oh joined King and the mayor at the news conference.

Despite challenges, King said he is confident that action, such as a second March on Washington scheduled for Aug. 24, will help make his father's dream a reality.

"It is not a commemoration," King said of the march. "It is a continuation to work to realize the dream of all Americans."

Contact Summer Ballentine at 215-854-2771 or, or follow on Twitter @SBallentine.

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