2006-02-08 / Front Page

Coretta Scott King: 1927 2006

Coretta Scott King Coretta Scott King Funeral services were held Tuesday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia for Coretta Scott King, considered by many as one of the most influential women leaders in America and the world.

Among those attending King’s funeral were President Bush and Laura Bush, Former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton, Former President George Bush and Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalyn Carter.

Coretta Scott King’s body lay in honor at the state Capitol Saturday. Another public viewing was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta Monday.

She entered the world stage in 1955 as the wife of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as a leading participant in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Mrs. King traveled throughout the nation and world speaking out on behalf of racial and economic justice, women’s and children’s rights, and many other social and political issues. She supported democracy movements world-wide and served as a consultant to many world leaders, including Corazon Aquino, Kenneth Kaunda, and

A native of Marion, Ala., Coretta Scott graduated valedictorian from Lincoln High School. She received a B.A. in music and education from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then went on to study concert singing at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in voice and violin. While in Boston she met Martin Luther King Jr. who was then studying for his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University. They were married on June 18, 1953, and in September 1954 took up residence in Montgomery, Ala., with Coretta Scott King assuming the many functions of pastor’s wife at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

During Dr. King's career, Mrs. King devoted most of her time to raising their four children. From the earliest days, however, she balanced mothering and movement work, speaking before church, civic, college, fraternal and peace groups.

Since Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Mrs. King devoted much of her energy and attention to developing programs and building the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband's life and dream.

Coretta Scott King worked to carry the message of nonviolence to almost every corner of the nation and world. She led goodwill missions to many countries in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. She spoke at many of history’s most massive peace and justice rallies.

A life-long advocate of interracial coalitions, in 1974 Mrs. King helped form a broad coalition of over 100 religious, labor, business, civil and women's rights organizations dedicated to a national policy of full employment and equal economic opportunity.

In preparation for the ReaganGorbachev talks, in 1988 she served as head of the U.S. delegation of Women for a Meaningful Summit in Athens, Greece; and in 1990, as the USSR was redefining itself, Mrs. King was co-convener of the SovietAmerican Women's Summit in Washington.

Mrs. King received honorary doctorates from over 60 colleges and universities; authored three books and a nationally-syndicated column; and served on, and helped found, dozens of organizations, including the Black Leadership Forum, the National Black Coalition for Voter Participation, and the Black Leadership Roundtable.

She witnessed the historic handshake between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Chairman Yassir Arafat at the signing of the Middle East Peace Accords. She stood with Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg when he became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.

A woman of wisdom, compassion and vision, Coretta Scott King tried to make ours a better world and, in the process, made history.

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