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Coretta Scott King Dies at 78

by Pamela Leavey

Coretta Scott King, widow of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died. She was 78. Coretta Scott King turned “a life shattered by her husband’s assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality.”

After her husband’s assassination in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, she kept his dream alive while also raising their four children.

She worked to keep his ideology of equality for all people at the forefront of the nation’s agenda. She goaded and pulled for more than a decade to have her husband’s birthday observed as a national holiday, then watched with pride in 1983 as President Reagan signed the bill into law. The first federal holiday was celebrated in 1986.

King became a symbol, in her own right, of her husband’s struggle for peace and brotherhood, presiding with a quiet, steady, stoic presence over seminars and conferences on global issues.

“I’m more determined than ever that my husband’s dream will become a reality,” King said soon after his slaying, a demonstration of the strong will that lay beneath the placid calm and dignity of her character.

She was devoted to her children and considered them her first responsibility. But she also wrote a book, “My Life With Martin Luther King Jr.,” and, in 1969, founded the multimillion-dollar Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said today, as Martin Luther King was the father of the civil rights movement, “she was the mother of that movement. They together were the force in this nation.”

In an area where our founding fathers failed — founding fathers wrote slavery into the Constitution, we fought a civil war, but it wasn’t really until we had Dr. King and Coretta Scott King in the ’50s that awakened the conscience of the nation so the political leadership of the early ’60s could begin what I call the march to progress, that of knocking down walls of discrimination on race, religion, ethnicity and gender, and disability. And we have benefited so much from their leadership and from their inspiration.”

“A final point I want to mention is that I’ve had the good opportunity to get to know the children over the years, and I have seen the time that they have spent with their mother,” said Kennedy, whose two slain brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.), worked closely with King. “Their mother was not only a powerful and charismatic figure and leader for our time, but she helped those children grow up to be individuals with a sense of dignity, a sense of pride in their heritage, and their strong commitment to do something for someone else. I admire her for that, as well.”

3 Responses to “Coretta Scott King Dies at 78”

  1. Bless her and her family. Thank you for helping to make our nation better. I am sorry you had to see how Katrina revealed that we are not doing what we should be doing.

  2. I would just like to say Rest In Peace to Coretta Scott King. I am deeply saddened that such a great and admirable woman has passed, but she’s left a legacy and now she’ll be joined by her husband once again. I am also disturbed that Rush Limbaugh was making a Parody of Her Funeral today on his radion talk show. She has not done anything to make this man say such things but he kept on going on about how the funeral was taking so long and making fun of it. I just hope that his boss hears that so they can oust him out of his show becuase that had to be the most distasteful way to act on someone’s funeral, wethey they were white or black. Given Rush’s racist remarks from the past, this should come as no surprise, but don’t do this to an Icon such as Coretta, she deserves better and you know it. Shame on you. I hope that you get fired, becuase that’ll finally shut you up once and for all. I know Bush may have messed up this country, but he’s not perfect and he’s only human. I may not agree with the way he’s running the country but he’s doing it and you can’t say anything about it, really. I have come to accept that he may not be the brightest, but damn if he didn’t attend that funeral as well. He should be commended for that. Even if he did it just to save face, he did. someone like Rush wouldn’t even attend as he already was making fun of it anyways. I hope that everybody can hear this comment because I’m no racist, but when you hear someone using his radio show to display such ridiculous comments as having an “Office Pool” to see when the funeral was going to finally be over. that’s just not right. She deserves more than that. that’s almost the equivolent of having a KKK making fun of it. that’s how it looked to me. May she rest in Peace and with her husband by her side

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