Celebrating the Birthday and Legacy of Coretta Scott King

0 Posted by - April 27, 2017 - BLACK WOMEN, CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today

BY: MOSES KAMUIRU

Early life

On this day in 1927, Coretta Scott King was born in Marion, Alabama. She was famous for her singing abilities and violin playing in her early life, as she was known for her civil rights activism later in life. She went to Lincoln High School and in 1945, she graduated as the school’s valedictorian. She later enrolled in Antioch College in Ohio where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Education. She was awarded a fellowship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is in this city where she would meet her future husband, the famed civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prose and Poetry

Her partnership with King culminated not only to a devotion of the highest values in human dignity in the cause for social change, but also in four talented children. She had to balance motherhood and the Civil Rights Movement work, civic college, speaking before the church, fraternal, and peace groups. Coretta performed and conceived a series of reviewed freedom concerts which had the combination of prose and poetry narration. Theses arts had musical selections and functioned as a fundraiser for the southern Christian Leadership Conference, the direct action organization of which Dr. King served as the first president.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Centre for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta

Almost immediately following Martin’s death, Coretta worked diligently to found the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. As of 1980, the Center acquired 23 additional acres, allowing it to house an entire museum complex devoted to the King’s legacy and their cause. It also serves as the couple’s final resting place. Coretta received honorary degrees from over fifty universities and colleges. She also authored a national syndicate column and three books. She helped found dozens of organizations including the National Black coalition for Voter Participation, Black Leadership Forum, and the Black Leadership Roundtable.

Federal holiday

Mrs. King began a huge campaign where she pushed for the observance of her husband’s birthday as a national holiday in the 1980s. In 1983, Congress held a commission for the creation of the federal holiday that was headed by Coretta. And, in 1986, she presided over the first official celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is now held every third Monday of January.

World Icon

Coretta King was involved in dialogues with Prime Ministers, Presidents, and Head of States, and she found time to discuss issues with welfare mothers. She met with many leaders of the spiritual world, among them being Pope John Paul II, Dorothy Day, Dalai Lama, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. She stood with Nelson Mandela in South Africa when he became the first black president of that country. Mrs. King also witnessed the historic handshake between Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the signing of the Middle East peace accords. Coretta King was a woman of compassion, vision, and wisdom who tried to make a better world for every one of us and in that quest made history.

You can read more of this story herehttp://www.thekinglegacy.org/individuals/coretta-scott-king

Photo credits: White House Photo Office

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