Tuesday, January 31, 2006

There's been some sad news this week. Coretta Scott King has died.

She was a supportive lieutenant to her husband during the most tumultuous days of the American civil rights movement, and after his assassination in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, she kept his dream alive while also raising their four children.

"I'm more determined than ever that my husband's dream will become a reality," King said soon after his slaying.

She goaded and pulled for more than a decade to have her husband's birthday observed as a national holiday, first 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.

"She was truly the first lady of the human rights movement," the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "The only thing worse than losing her is if we never had her."

King 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. She saw to it that the center became deeply involved with the issues she said breed violence -- hunger, unemployment, voting rights and racism.

"The center enables us to go out and struggle against the evils in our society," she often said.
In London, she stood in 1969 in the same carved pulpit in St. Paul's Cathedral where her husband preached five years earlier.

"Many despair at all the evil and unrest and disorder in the world today," she preached, "but I see a new social order and I see the dawn of a new day."
May we continue to move the Kings' work forward so that new day can keep dawning, keep growing...

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