Celebrating Black History: One Family's Story - Part 2 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Hello, everyone. You're listening to Family Talk, the radio broadcasting ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. James Dobson, and thank you for joining us for this program.

Roger Marsh: Thank you for joining us for another edition of Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh, and as we go further into February of this new year, I hope that you and your family continue to grow closer to the Lord. I want to acknowledge that there is a lot to celebrate and a lot of excitement in the air this time of year, so much going on. Now, some of you may be preparing to watch the big game on Sunday. Others might be selecting a special Valentine's Day card to drop in the mail, and don't forget that Presidents' Day is right around the corner as well. Well, we are continuing our celebration of Black History Month on the broadcast here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, and today our very special guest, Dr. Alveda King, is returning for part two of her conversation with our own Dr. Tim Clinton.

If you are not familiar with Dr. King, she is an American activist, author, evangelist, and former Georgia State representative. Dr. Alveda King is the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and she is the daughter of the late Reverend Alfred Daniel Williams King. During today's program, she will share with us lessons and traditions that she has passed on to her kids, all of this framed within a life well lived in service to the kingdom, walking with grace and wisdom. Alveda King is truly a national treasure. You are going to find her thoughts and words to be poignant and resonant. Also, you will learn that music is very important to Dr. King as well, and she will share her passion for that art form with us today. Now, let's join Dr. Alveda King as she continues the conversation with our co-host, Dr. Tim Clinton, right here on Family Talk.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Welcome into Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, co-host of the broadcast. I'm honored to serve alongside Dr. Dobson as the resident authority on mental health and relationships here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I also serve as president of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Thank you for joining us today on this very special broadcast. February 1st marked the first day of Black History Month. It's an annual time of the calendar year here in America, recognizing and celebrating the achievements of Black Americans and their central role in US history. Notable figures include Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and more. For those who may not know, the event grew out of Negro History Week, created by historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans in 1926. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling on the public to seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

And what better way to honor the significance of this month than with a visit from today's guest. She is from the well-known family that has been integral in the civil rights movement. She's a Christian evangelist, author, pro-life advocate. Dr. Alveda King, welcome back. What an amazing conversation yesterday about your life, as we journey into where we're at in modern day culture. Alveda, one of the things that I think we see is this culture of fear, that people really are ... They're confused, they're angry, and they're really fearful about where we're at and where we're headed.

Alveda King: I have been so blessed to be born into a family of fearless Christian warriors. My dad, Reverend Alfred Daniel Williams King, my mother, Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King, who's still living. My grandparents, Daddy King Sr., Mama King, and then Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King, and the whole family, Aunt Christine, all of us. I'm reminded even during these times, especially since COVID, because I've lost some very close people myself to COVID, and I remember the message that God kept giving me was fear not. Learn to love each other. Don't withdraw from humanity, even behind mask and things. I thought about my granddaddy, Martin Luther King, Sr. After my uncle was shot, my daddy was choked and killed, and then my grandmother was killed in 1974 playing the organ in Ebenezer Baptist Church. So, granddaddy, during that time, a lot of these stories or these adventures I call them are in the History documentary so you can look for them.

But granddaddy, when his wife was shot, he went to the hospital and he saw his wife. Marcus Wayne Chenault had been arrested and thrown in jail. Granddaddy went to the jail and said, "Son, you have taken away the most precious thing in this earth from me, and yet I forgive you." Chenault did not get the death penalty because my grandfather, at the loss of his wife asked for mercy. If you watch the videos of the time when my grandmother was shot, the people are running. They're afraid. They're screaming. They're hollering. Granddaddy's lost his wife but he's able to say, "Don't fear. Don't be angry. We're going to trust God." And that gave him, there were two famous sayings from Daddy King, "Make it plain," right? The vision in make it plain, and we all think we know the visionary Martin Luther King, Jr. the dreamer, but our whole family, we are prophetic, all of us.

Right? The vision in make it plain. But his other one, and you hear me say it on news stories and everywhere all the time, say it to my own family, "Thank God for what we have left." In the midst of the loss of his two sons and his wife, violent loss. That's why I, this young man, Tyre, who was recently killed, and he's flagged the officers were black, so they couldn't even say racism that time. I say, "I told you it's not skin color, guys. It's the human heart." So, I can hear granddaddy saying today, just like Tyre's mother, "Please be peaceful. Please be peaceful. Comfort others in the midst of our lost, in the midst of our pain. Thank God for what we have left. Fear not. Trust God. Love people." That message, it just resonates, and we need it in America and around the world. In this year, in this century, 21st century, 2023, whatever you want to call the time period, we are experiencing, fear not, love God, trust God, love humans.

Dr. Tim Clinton: The tendency, Alveda, when you go through some tough times is to swallow your pain, and when you swallow it's like a poison that begins to course through your body. Hey, we've all been through a tough couple of years from COVID, and you start thinking about everything we witnessed. I think about the racial tension, the trauma, the rioting we began to see, the change we saw in our country, the election mess, so much more. COVID was the gift that kept on giving, all kinds of variants that kept coming at us, and then just if you look at what's happening in our world, the inflation, the economy, the changes, you're such a strong pro-life advocate. There's a huge division going on.

But, in a lot of ways this is a scary time, and if you've swallowed the pain and you amp it up by realizing that these are dangerous, difficult times, it's easy to let that anger fester inside of you. I hear you saying that somehow God, well, there's this family message that you're saying. It's let it go. Don't let that define you. Don't be a person of hate because it will only destroy you. Alveda, some people listening might say, "I don't know how to do that. I don't know if I can do that." What do you say?

Alveda King: Let me explain exactly. One of my kids, I have six adult children and 11 grandchildren. But one of my kids says, "Can you apologize to my dad?" I've been married and divorced, and so I said, "Apologize to your dad? Doesn't he need to apologize to me? What do you mean? So, I stayed up all night and I said, "Holy Spirit, I'm tired. I can't do this. Can you help me?" It's almost like Holy Spirit laughed and said, "I wondered if you were going to ask me. You could have been kinder." So, I took that and I looked up the scriptures on kindness and all of that, and I wrote a letter, and when I wrote that letter to the children's dad, it had positive impact. I even opened up my show on Fox Nation. I have a cooking segment and bringing in friends and talking. What would I have done differently?

I could have been kinder. So, when you cannot forgive, when you cannot get over anger, and sometimes I can't. I get, "God, do you see what they just did? I can't. God, do you see? "Yes, I see. Vengeance is mine. Sit down." So, you go to Holy Spirit, and if you don't know Holy Spirit, you can learn Holy Spirit, Father, God, Jesus Christ our Lord died on the cross at Calvary, and rose again, was born of the Virgin, Holy Spirit and comforter in God. I have to do that all the time. Now, I'll see things or feel a little way about a person. I say, "Holy Spirit, now I see that I don't like that help. Would you take it? Show me. Let me love with the love of Jesus. Let me love with John 3:16." So, the way you do it, if you have somebody that you cannot forgive, that you're angry with, you feel owes you something, just sit down and talk to God about it, if you have a relationship with God as your Father.

If you don't, it's not impossible. That's one good thing that COVID gave us, and it's everybody saying, "Okay, Alveda, you just lost us." COVID is hard, but yes it is. But guess what? Those who understood that they could go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, take church services viral, which many of us did, my church did. We had parking lot church too. We were out the cars in the parking lot dancing for months. So, we were able to call out to God and God did not leave us during COVID. I did want to mention that. So, go to God, and when you cannot forgive, ask God to show you and help you. God will actually come into your heart as those mean angry, scared, bitter places and clean them out, and please fill it with the Holy Spirit because you'll get some worse stuff than ever if you don't let Holy Spirit in.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen. Alveda, I know that you're big on family, and you mentioned you have six children, 11 grandchildren. When I think about your experiences growing up and how they shaped you, what traditions have you held onto? What's important to you that you want to give to your children and your children's children?

Alveda King: In our family, we come together regardless of differences. Certainly seasonally, on holidays, we do that. We call each other. We console each other. We laugh with each other. Just do things together as a family. One thing I said to people, "Don't let politics divide you. Don't let COVID divide you." Family and other relationships, friendships and work, love each other, talk to each other. There are some principles, non-violent principles that you can find on my website and at the King Center website and things like that, the principles of non-violent. You can work with those principles and those steps. There are steps where you can talk to each other, love each other in a non-confrontational way, and then always say, "What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say?" We do that in our family, and then we extend that same Christian love to people in our various communities, regardless of politics, COVID or opinions. Opinions are just that, but the love of God is permanent.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Alveda, you and I were in Washington recently for the March for Life and there was a meeting, dinner we went to the night before the march at AFPI, the American First Policy Institute. While there, they had asked you to come up and to pray and lead in song, and as I reflect on my interactions with you through the years, God has put music at the center of your life, in your heart. I know that if you reflect back through the years, people who have journeyed, gone through challenge in life, often God puts a song in their heart, and I think of the old spirituals, even to modern day music, the messaging is so important. Sometimes it gets all over the map. But what begins to radiate out of your heart, and Alveda, as you've been talking yesterday and today on the broadcast, I believe you. I think God has put such a song in your heart. Can you address that what he's done?

Alveda King: I'd like to do that, and you can see my expressions in film and music, in my cooking show, various things. I do have several songs out that I have produced, and you can find them I guess wherever songs are on Spotify, Amazon, places like that. I know that even my uncle loved the song, "Precious Lord." Martin Luther King, Jr. loved that song. My dad A.D., "It Is Well With My Soul," and "Peace Be Still." Daddy talked about the miracles of Christ, and we put all of those to music. So, those expressions are important. Whether we hear it in a sermon, whether we hear it in a song or a film, let's not discredit those opportunities either, and pray for people who do have creative efforts that we want to release, and we get blocked from Hollywood or Disney or places like that. But we still have this messaging. It's very important. I'll do a little 15 seconds here. "Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me."

Dr. Tim Clinton: My mother used to sing that on Sunday mornings.

Alveda King: Really?

Dr. Tim Clinton: When we were in bed, yes, she would go out and practice a piano to play for church.

Alveda King: Yeah.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Alveda, it takes me way back. You're releasing this month of February, an album entitled Freedom Melodies. Tell us a little bit about it and why it's important to you.

Alveda King: Well, my first song that I wrote and published in 1974 was "Let Freedom Ring," and thank God that King had a dream, and that song is there. Lift Every Voice and Sing, the National Negro anthem, the Battle Hymn of Republic, the Lord's Prayer. All of those songs are freedom melodies. We have overcome, because Jesus has overcome by the blood of the lamb, not we shall overcome. We really have overcome and we are living colors, one blood. So, those freedom melodies are designed to lighten the heart and to encourage others. We can do that through song, through movies, through books, through sermons, through good businesses, healthy medicine that heals us, good education. I can't name it all.

They have the seven mountains that tells you where all that is, and the eighth mountain. Maybe even the first mountain. The Mountain of God. The Mountain of God. So, as we express each other, let me just encourage us not to be so much afraid and conspiracy theorists and all that. The real truth is for God so loved the world.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Amen.

Alveda King: That he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Hold on to that truth.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. The ground is always level at the foot of the cross. Alveda, when you reflect on where we were as a country when your dad and Uncle Martin Luther King, Jr. were leading the civil rights movement, how do you feel we're doing right now in our country? I know we've all recognized the racism, racial tension, trauma, the rioting, we've seen all of it. We've heard names like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd. You talked about Tyre Nichols recently, and that horrific death that at the hand of those police officers more, but healing the divide, reconciliation, what do you want the church to know? Alveda, where, what can we be doing?

Alveda King: I am on certain prayer groups during the week, on the phone and actually in person sometimes, and I'm hearing fabulous testimonies about young people looking for truth, coming back to God. About people loving and forgiving. See, those things are not reported in what we call the news, but that's the good news. So, the good news lives in us. Try not to be overcome by your fears and the things that frighten you, but take more time church, whatever your denomination is, take more time to talk about these, the opportunities and testimonies of hope, of faith, of love, things that are happening, and they definitely are. I would just tell people we have to teach it in every generation, every decade and every day on social media. So, take over that old ugly social media. I even go on TikTok and say, "Praise the Lord, right now."

Dr. Tim Clinton: Alveda, we're fighting time here, but I wanted to ask you, let's radiate this joy that's in your life. There's so much that flows out of you, but you're having fun with some home cooking. You have a show that you do. You invite people into "Alveda King's House" on Fox Nation, sharing recipes. You want to talk with special friends and guests why you're up on there. Tell us about what you're doing in and through the program.

Alveda King: Absolutely. During the program, and they're all, sometimes it's family, sometimes it's friends, ethnically blended, absolutely. We sometimes do holidays or just opportunities to get together. One of my favorite shows, I had two of my Christian sisters on and Latino and roots and one had European roots and all that and me. So, they were saying this thing about 23 and Me, and they were saying they had so many connections. I say, "Look, we are human beings. It doesn't matter what our skin color is." So, that is one thing that I'm carrying all year. People say, "What's your favorite dish to cook?" I had to finally narrow that down to paella,. For some reason I enjoyed making paella. I just got great on making that. But I could cook many, many things. So as I say, music, the shows on TV. I produce, direct, still do a little acting. So, just having fun.

But I'm not ... I am serious, and I know we are in serious times. Psalms 91 is very important. Psalms 103, Psalms 23, those are important. John 3:16. We have to live Bible truths, and if that word of God is not in us, we have nothing to share with the world. Absolutely nothing. So, I can be serious. I lose my temper. Sometimes I just lose it totally. I'm saying, "God, I can't take anymore. I'm going to turn off everything, the phone, people, everything, just nothing."

Dr. Tim Clinton: I know. We all getting that breaking point.

Alveda King: Yeah, we do.

Dr. Tim Clinton: But there's something, Alveda, coming back to the cooking theme for a moment, around the family dinner table, something happens there. And while we enjoy good food, there's more than that. There's something, a transmission that's going on, a legacy, a generational passing that's so important, and we're beginning to lose that dinner table and how families need to come back.

Alveda King: We must get it back, and we can get it back. Maybe not every day. We are busy and doing so many different things, but try once a week, and for the extended family, try once a month or at least quarterly. Find those opportunities and before you fellowship and eat, pray, look at each other, touch each other, love each other, forgive each other. Holding those things well, the Bible says envy will rot your bones. But some of the sicknesses and diseases that we have are related to anger and fear and strife. My pastor said, "Get strife out of your house. Get it out of your life. Strife will make you sick." Strife doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, so listen to me. It means that we need to go together to the foot of the cross, and repent and see what God will do with us.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Alveda, in closing, somewhere you met Him, our Lord and Savior, and somewhere He did a work in you and He put a song in your heart.

Alveda King: He did.

Dr. Tim Clinton: And it allows you to transcend, to rise above. As you look to the future, I know a lot of people are burdened about our country. They're burdened about a lot of things that are happening around the world, but our hope, our strength, our joy is in the Lord.

Alveda King: With God, all things are possible. Even the impossible dream is possible if we take the hand of our Lord.

Dr. Tim Clinton: What is it like to have you, Dr. Alveda King. Such an honor. Again, on behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, our entire team here, we pray earnestly that God would continue to put in your heart words of joy and strength and hope and encouragement, as God positions you to be an instrument of his grace in this world. Thank you so much for joining us.

Alveda King: Thank you. God bless you.

Roger Marsh: Amen. My, oh my. Boy, she sure has a beautiful singing voice, doesn't she? I'm Roger Marsh, and that was Dr. Alveda King, and the conclusion of our two-part conversation with her today on Family Talk. I really enjoyed hearing the wisdom that she shared with us over these past couple of days. Hope you did too. By the way, if you missed any part of today's or yesterday's conversations or if you'd like to go back and listen to them again or share them with friends or family, simply visit our website at drjamesdobson.org. Sharing the wisdom of God's word and practicing his principles is very important for keeping families strong, and here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, Dr. Dobson has put over 40 years experience into an eight-disk DVD video collection that would make an excellent resource for you and your family. The video collection is called Building a Family Legacy, and you can order your own copy for a suggested donation of just $50.

You can place your order online by visiting drjamesdobson.org. Or if you'd like to place your order by phone, you can call us at 877-732-6825. Keep in mind, the U.S. mail is always a safe way to communicate with us. Our ministry mailing address is The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, P.O. Box 39000 Colorado Springs, Colorado. The zip code, 80949. Above all else, we love to hear from you, so please send us your questions, your prayer requests. We're here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our customer care team is here to listen and to pray with and for you. Again, our number to call is 877-732-6825 and our ministry mailing address, The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute or JDFI for short. P.O. Box 39000 Colorado Springs, Colorado. The zip code, 80949. I'm Roger Marsh. Hope you have a fun and safe weekend, especially if you're going to watch the big game.

I will have memories of watching the big game with my dad when I was younger. I always pulled for the underdog. He always pulled for the favorite, and the wager was always the same. Loser had to buy the winner a banana split. You have no idea how much of my allowance I spent buying my dad those banana splits and paying off that wager. But we'll have another chance to settle the score coming up this Sunday. Hope you have a great weekend, and remember, you've been listening to Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love, even when you have to buy them a banana split.

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