Remembering Coretta Scott King: The Impact Of The Author, Activist And Civil Rights Leader
Photo by Allison Silberberg

Today marks what would have been Coretta Scott King’s 95th birthday. Although she passed in 2006 at the tender age of 78, her impact will last a lifetime.

Throughout the years, this amazing woman has come to be known as the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but it was her dedication to women’s rights, advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community, and her contributions to advancing the quality of life for all human beings is what made her truly special.

“Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist,” Coretta once said. “I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else.”

(Original Caption) Mrs. Coretta King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., acknowledges applause, as she prepares antiwar rally on the Ellipse across from the White House.

Born in Heiberger, Alabama, Coretta was born into a working-class family and her parents made it a priority to instill pride in their children, as well as stressing to them the importance of education. Upon graduating from Lincoln Norman High School as its valedictorian, she received a B.A. in Music and Education from Antioch College, as well as earning a Bachelors of Music at the New England Conservatory in Boston. It was her upbringing and her background as a musician that molded her as a woman and allowed her to become so pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and beyond.

After meeting a young Dr. King in 1952, Coretta would embark on a journey that would ultimately make her influential within the realm of politics, human rights, racial justice, and so much more. Upon her passing in 2006, the author and activist had become revered in the African American community, and stood as an icon for everyone, regardless of race, age, or gender.

“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”

In celebration of Coretta Scott King’s birthday, here are some of the worldly contributions she made towards seeking equality for all.


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