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The eldest surviving child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King prefers to observe the national holiday in honor of his father as opposed to celebrating it. Martin Luther King III said there is simply too much work to be done around what his father called the “triple evils.”

“We can’t celebrate when the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism are still very much existing in our society,” said King. “The holiday always gives us an opportunity to begin anew.”

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King, founder and CEO of Realizing the Dream, a group dedicated to pursuing peace, justice, equality and an end to racism and poverty through nonviolence, said he will be at the King Center in Atlanta for this year’s holiday, where Princeton professor and scholar Cornel West will deliver the keynote address. Realizing the Dream will also hand out its Champion of Hope Award to a person it feels best exemplifies the principles of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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