Two women who will be in Fort Worth on Wednesday and Thursday are each veterans of the civil-rights struggle.
Naomi King, 84, is the widow of A.D. King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s younger brother, who was a pastor and a civil-rights activist. Celeste King Beal, 37, is Martin Luther King Jr.’s great-niece and is the program director for Charitable Connections Inc., which helps smaller nonprofits link up with organizations that can provide them with resources.
Both will speak to young African-American women about their challenges and opportunities at the Justice for Girls Because Black Women Matter symposium being held in honor of Sandra Bland.
Bland, 28, was found dead July 13 in a cell at the Waller County Jail, three days after being stopped by Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia on a minor traffic violation. Bland’s death has been ruled a suicide, but the local district attorney is investigating.
The symposium’s sponsor, Kyev Tatum, president of the Tarrant County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said African-American women must understand the struggles they face.
“What is clear is that there is a disconnect between the [African-American] community and the police department,” Tatum said. “We’re coming together to put a face to the ladies who dies but also put a face on the struggles they are engaged in.”
Beal said the national climate around racial issues is emotionally charged, giving people of faith a chance to come together and promote positive change.
“If emotions rule the day, things will not change,” Beal said. “The people in the Black Lives Matter movement are passionate and that’s a beautiful and dangerous thing. We have to meet and talk and give direction to some of this passion so that we can achieve something worthwhile.”
If you go
The Justice for Girls Because Black Women Matter Symposium is Wednesday and Thursday in Fort Worth. Free and open to the public.
Wednesday: 5-9 p.m. at Tarrant County College’s Trinity River Campus, 300 Trinity River Circle, Fort Worth
Thursday: 10:30 a.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1101 Evans St., Fort Worth
Information: Tarrant County Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 817-966-7625