Saturday Series Coretta Scott King


January 16, 2016

Coretta Scott King was born in Marion, Alabama on April 27, 1927. She was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. Affectionately called “Corrie” by her husband, she was universally referred to as the “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement” as she partnered with her husband and led the way in the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.

Scott King grew up in the segregated south, and it was impressed upon her during her childhood the injustices that were common during this time. Her parents, not affluent, made education a priority in each of their children’s lives, and Coretta graduated high school and went on to attend Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH to pursue degrees in education and music. She was an accomplished singer and violinist and received a fellowship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. It was during this time when she met and married Martin Luther King, Jr.

After moving to Montgomery, AL, together they headed the nonviolent protesting of the Civil Rights Movement. After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of 1968, Coretta Scott King continued to provide a calming presence and steady force forward in the continuation of nonviolent opposition in the pursuit of equal rights. Gradually she came to be seen as the choice successor to Dr. King and a leader and symbol of the civil rights struggle.

During the 50 year commemoration ceremony and introduction of the Coretta Scott King rose in 2013, Birmingham Mayor, William Bell, said this, “It is important that we remember all of the women and mothers who made sacrifices so that their children, the next generation, could live a better life. It is an honor and a privilege to plant these roses as a tribute to Coretta Scott King.”

The rose, Coretta Scott King, memorializes her life. A grandiflora of exceptional beauty, it is poised with creamy white blossoms edged in coral-white.