Remembering the life of Coretta Scott King

by Beacon Staff • February 8, 2006

After the death of her husband at the hands of a hateful assassin, King carried her husband's legacy and became the embodiment of the Civil Rights Movement.,Through profound pain and personal sacrifice, Coretta Scott King carried with her the spirit of a movement that erased the last visages of lawful inequity in the United States.

After the death of her husband at the hands of a hateful assassin, King carried her husband's legacy and became the embodiment of the Civil Rights Movement.

But it was not just her dedication to Martin's vision that led her to become the first woman and the first African-American interred in Georgia's state capitol; it was her will to create positive change in a world often dominated by violence and suffering.

In her efforts to make change a reality, King used every outlet available to her in order to end injustice around the world.

Even before her husband's assassination in 1968, King was a leader in efforts to make world peace a reality.

In 1962, she attended a 17-nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland as a Women's Strike for Peace delegate. Then, in 1965, King came out against the Vietnam War at an anti-war rally in Madison Square Garden, a full two years before her husband rallied against it.

The First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement led by her actions and strong will, just as her husband did.

As time went on, King continued to stand up for causes she felt highlighted injustice throughout the world.

For decades, King was a vocal opponent to the Apartheid government of South Africa and even participated in a series of sit-in protests in Washington, D.C. that prompted nationwide demonstrations against South Africa's racial policies.

Her work spread from the fundamental rights of humans to be treated like humans to such broad-ranging issues as AIDS prevention, overturning capital punishment and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In death, just as in life, Coretta Scott King brought people together. At her funeral on Feb. 7, 2006, 4 U.S. Presidents saluted this one-time cotton-picker, not because her husband was an inspirational leader, but because she was strong enough to overcome anything life threw at her.

Her willpower to live through the bombing of her home and the ability to see that the work she did was instrumental to her fellow citizens will not soon be forgotten.