The Voting Rights Act was originally passed because of a bloody civil rights campaign that culminated in a march led by her father in Selma, Alabama, in 1965.

She says the court's decision was a reminder that certain freedoms cannot be taken for granted.

"My mother used to say that struggle is a never-ending process," she says. "You earn it and win it in every generation."

Making money off the legacy

The upcoming commemoration of the March on Washington is a mixed bag for the King children. They have been criticized for demanding a licensing fee from the group that led the successful campaign to build a monument of their father on the Washington Mall.

Critics say they should not have charged any fee for those who wanted to honor their father's legacy. Their point: Are the ancestors of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln demanding money for their monuments?

"But Lincoln has been gone for 150 years," she says. "We're first generation who lost our parents, not our great, great, great, great grandfather."

She has heard such criticism for years. People have complained that the King children are more concerned about making money off their father's legacy than extending it.

If her family doesn't actively protect her father's image and likeness in the marketplace, she says, they will lose the ability to do so. She says the King family charged a licensing fee for the monument, but the huge sums bandied about are not true.

Then she turns the question back on those who would challenge the King family.

"Why does that matter? Why does it matter to you, whatever it is? We were deprived of our father. Had he been here, this wouldn't be an issue. Our father gave a lot to America.''

Feuding with her brothers

Her relationship with her brothers, Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, has also been criticized. Over the years, the siblings have sued and counter-sued one another over their parents' legacy.

When asked if she still talks to her brothers, she says, "Every now and then. We're family."

When asked to describe their current relationship, she says: "It's OK."

The tension among the King children is unfathomable to some. How can siblings who shared such a singular tragedy barely talk? She points to the children of South African leader Nelson Mandela, whose squabbling over their father's legacy makes headlines overseas.

"My question would be for the people that can't understand it is to look at their (own) families," King says. "Every family -- think about the Mandela family right now -- every family has its challenges. We're not immune. We're not superhuman."

She says some of the tension with her brothers may be rooted in gender.

"I'm the only female left in the family," King says. "I was closer to my mother and sister. ... Women and men are different."

When asked if she thinks she will ever become closer to her brothers, she says: "I don't know. I would hope so."

The 'mistake' march

Her father made history with marches, but one of Bernice King's most controversial public episodes came when she helped lead a march herself.

It was 2004, and she and Bishop Eddie Long -- senior pastor of an Atlanta megachurch -- were leading a march against same-sex marriage. Long, who once said that blacks have to "forget" racism because they have already reached the Promised Land, carried a torch during the march. It had been lit at an eternal flame at Martin Luther King Jr.'s grave.

The march was widely criticized by followers of her father. They pointed out that King's marches were about inclusion -- not excluding a group of people. They noted that one of his closest aides was Bayard Rustin, a gay man who was instrumental in planning the March on Washington.

Bernice King, who was an elder in Long's church at the time, later left the congregation after Long settled out of court with four young men who had accused him of coercing them into sexual relationships.