Congregants Are Urged to Continue Martin Luther King’s Work as He is Honored at Boston’s Twelfth Baptist Church

Bendu David, a high school senior, read a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. during the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation at Roxbury’s Twelfth Baptist Church on Sunday, a week before what would have been the civil rights leader’s 91st birthday. ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

A high school student urged Bostonians of all races to continue the work left unfinished a half-century ago by the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as she spoke Sunday at the annual convocation for King inside Roxbury’s historic Twelfth Baptist Church.

Bendu David, a senior at Boston Latin Academy, pointed to stark racial disparities that persist nearly 52 years after King’s assassination and to cries from young Americans of every background for a society and a criminal justice system that are fairer and more humane.

“I hope to see us continue to do what we can with King’s dream. I hope to see us support and show up for the black people fighting for and representing us in our communities,” David said.

She added later, “I hope to see more families encouraging young black people to dive into the arts, to see more young black people participating in marches and strikes, more diverse young women and men in roles on the big screen, more black women in positions of power, and more black people being celebrated — because we are great!”