our world may seem full of discrimination and hate, there
are people that have devoted their life to enforce peace.
One of these amazing people is Coretta Scott King.
King was born one of three children on April 27, 1927
in Heilberger, Alabama. As a young child she was forced
to help support her family by hoeing, and picking cotton.
This only furthered Coretta Scott King’s determination
to achieve a sound education, demand treatment as an equal
and destroy adversity. Mrs. King majored in education
and Music at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in
1945. her dreams of becoming a teacher however soon came
crashing down after local public schools banned her as
a black teacher to teach. She soon after devoted her time
into music, which led to her attending the New England
conservatory of Music in Boston. However, she only attended
this school on a modest fellowship, which covered her
tuition, but also made a part-time job a necessity. This
caused her to meet Martin Luther King, which sent her
into a head-over-heels romance.
Martin Luther King presented Coretta Scott with an exceptional
opportunity to marry a young minister with the same intense
convictions and concern for humanity that she possessed.
Marrying such a man allowed Coretta Scott King to pursue
her own dreams and possible career without regrets. Upon
completing her studies in 1954, Mrs. King moved back to
the South with her husband who became the pastor of Dexter
Avenue Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. Within that
same year, Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott and
presented a new era of civil rights agitation. Just two
years later, Dr. King was the head of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Scott King stood by her husband’s ambitions and
gradually became more involved in his civil rights campaigning.
Occasionally she would speak at his lectures or sing a
song while he recited his speech. In 1962, she served
as a delegate for the Women’s Strike for Peace of
the 17-nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
During the middle of the 1960s, she sang in the multi-arts
Freedom concerts that raised money for the SCLC. As Martin
Luther King’s popularity began to soar, Mrs. King
began to take over speaking engagements that Dr. King
could not fulfill. This strengthened her dreams of her
own rights. After the assassination of Dr. King, she filled
many of the commitments that her husband’s death
had left behind.
Scott King’s speech on Solidarity Day, June 19,
1968, is defined as “. . .a prime example of her
emergence from the shadow of her husband’s memory.”
In this ground breaking speech, she called upon women
to “’unite and form a solid block of women
power’ to fight the three great evils of racism,
poverty and war.” Most of the plans that Mrs. King
concentrated on in these first few years was setting up
a Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Atlanta.
Scott King also published a book of memories titled My
Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. King’s activism
is not only limited to US borders however. In the mid-1980s,
she was arrested along with two of her children for demonstrating
against apartheid. The year following that, she visited
South Africa, meeting with businessmen and anti-apartheid
Since then she has done numerous things in an effort for
civil rights, including speaking against the Haitian military
regime against Haitian citizens, and only a few years
ago in 1993, she implored the United Nations to “reimpose
an embargo against the nation.”
Coretta Scott King is an example of peace for our society
because of her continuing efforts to make our world racially
equal. She is one of the few living persons in our society
today that we can honestly look at any say, “She
made a difference.” Mrs. King, according to most
people, is still an “eloquent and respected spokesperson
on behalf of black causes and nonviolent philosophy.”
Though she clutched her own beliefs and dreams to her
heart and reach out for them with all her might, she is
recognized today for keeping her husband’s dream
Scott King shows the unfaltering determination that people
can hold and shows us that we can achieve our goals. Not
only a symbol of peace, Mrs. King is also a symbol of
society. We were created in God’s image and Coretta
Scott King made it a daily effort to let people know we
should be treated all the same because of it. Coretta
Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., is the peace
hero that should be recognized for the twentieth century.