"My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," Yolanda, the eldest of King's granddaughters, said during her surprise speech, reports CNN. “I have a dream that enough is enough and this should be a gun free world, period."
She then led the crowd in a chant, telling the thousands gathered, "Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation!"
In an interview with CNN, Yolanda said she had a lockdown drill in her fourth grade glass on Friday. “It’s unfortunate people have these guns and use them to hurt people,” she told the network.
Yolanda is the daughter of Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of King and Coretta Scott King.
Yolanda was not the only elementary school student who spoke in Washington. Naomi Wadler, an 11-year-old fifth grader from Alexandria, Virginia, quoted Toni Morrison and reminded everyone that she only has to wait seven years for the right to vote.
“I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said, reports USA Today. “I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant beautiful girls full of potential.”
The March for Our Lives was organized by the survivors of last month's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A 19-year-old gunman killed 14 students and three teachers on Feb. 14 with weapons he legally purchased. The survivors inspired thousands of others in American cities and around the world to organize their own protests against gun violence.
During her speech, survivor Emma Gonzalez read the names of the 17 victims and stood for six minutes and 20 seconds of silence to mark the length of the shooting.1comments
"Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds," Gonzalez told the crowd. "The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your life before it’s somebody else’s job."
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