Listening to the voices of Naomi Wadler and  Yolanda Renee King (granddaughter of MLK), there is no doubt Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is alive and well in the iGeneration.

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If you listen to the news media, they might have you believe that the iGeneration is lost, that there are no credible voices. We are constantly looking to the leaders of the past for what was, but will never be again. Yet what these two young ladies have done is invoke the very spirit of Dr. King’s Drum Major Instinct. This was his final message at Ebenezer Baptist Church before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

In his final sermon, he said all of the Gospel is a drum major for justice and peace, a drum major for serving humanity, that we may “make of this old world a new world.” That is what these two children are doing.


According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, black children are 10 times more likely to die from gun violence. This means Naomi, 11, and Yolanda, 9, spoke their truth. A truth that is seen in every major urban center in America, and supported every time the news reports another unarmed person of color killed by police.

Wallet. Skittles. Cell Phone. As troubling as this growing list is, at least it’s front page news. As Naomi Wadler pointed out when young black girls get shot, they are just numbers, they don’t get newspaper headlines. They fade into obscurity. For Naomi enough is enough. For Yolanda Renee King, her dream is that this gun violence will come to an end.

“My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school, but we know. We know life isn’t equal for everyone, and we know what is right and wrong. We also know that we stand in the shadow of the Capitol and we know that we have seven short years until we, too, have the right to vote,” Wadler said.

What made Dr. King’s speeches and sermon’s so poignant was the fact he also discussed the social economic reasons for the civil rights issues he was fighting for. These young ladies exemplified this by getting to the root of the problem, not just saying what the problem is. If children can grasp today’s intense socio-economic climate that is causing the gun violence that exists in their neighborhoods, their communities, their nation; then as adults, the least we can do is support them.

“My name is Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King,” she proudly declared. “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

It is our job to make sure that the words of King and Wadler never fall on deaf ears. For them to be the drum majors that fight against all violence and civil rights injustices. These ladies have the power to be bandleaders, only if we listen, encourage, and follow them. They are Martin’s legacy, yet only as far as we empower them to fulfill their destiny.