Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coretta Scott King

" I am investing my time in something that matters."

When I read this quote today it reminded me of a few drawings I did of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King.  I did these drawings last year while watching the television series,  Eyes on the Prize.  In school we never learned much about her except that she was married to Martin Luther King.

Both Martin Luther King Jr.  and Coretta Scott King invested their time into something that mattered. The Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for equality. Long after her husbands assassination  in 1968 Coretta took on the leadership role of The Civil Rights Movement.  As leader of the movement she founded the Martin Luther King,  Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change located in Atlanta. She held the position of both president and CEO until she passed away in 2006.

Coretta Scott King was born in 1927 in Marion, Alabama. She was born to her parents Obadiah Scott and Bernice Scott.  She is the third child of  four children. As a child her family lived on a farm where she picked cotton during the Great Depression to help earn money. Her father owned a barber shop and a lumber mill which was burned down by Caucasian neighbors. Coretta attended a one room elementary school and later attended a high school that was 9 miles away. Due to racial segregation it was the closet school. Her mother was the bus drive and transported all the black teenagers to school.

In 1945 she graduated from Lincoln Normal school as valedictorian and later attended Antioch College in Ohio as part of the Antioch Program for Interracial Eduction. Once there she studied music  and became  politically active joining the NAACP, Race Relations,  and the Civil Liberties Committees.  She transferred to the New England Conservatory of Music where she met Martin Luther King Jr.  They were married on June 18, 1953.  A year later they moved to Montgomery, Alabama where they had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King lll, Dexter and Bernice. They all became  civil rights activist.

While married they both played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement.  She took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and worked hard to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Before her passing in 2006 she earned numerous awards and medals such as the Gandhi Peace Prize. In 1970 the American Library Association began awarding the Coretta Scott King medal to outstanding African American writers and illustrators of children's literature.

To me she is a lady that made a true mark in history.

"I am indebted to my wife Coretta, without whose love, sacrifices, and loyalty neither life nor work would bring fulfillment. She has given me words of consolation when I needed them and a well-ordered home where Christian love is a reality."-Martin Luther King Jr

Image courtesy of The Library of Congress


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