Coretta Scott King was born on the 27th of April 1927 in Perry County, Alabama. Her parents, Obadiah and Bernice Scott, were farmers who owned land in the county since the American Civil War. She then became wife of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Until today, her strong international reputation as an advocate for civil rights, equal rights for women, non-violence and international peace. Here are more interesting facts about Coretta Scott King.
1. She Endured Social Segregation At a Young Age.
Coretta’s early schooling was affected by a system of segregation that kept people of different races apart. While studying as a young girl, she walked 6 miles every day to and from the school, while white students were taking the bus and were having better teachers and facilities. After completing 6 years at the elementary school, she enrolled in Lincoln High School in Marion, Alabama, where she developed an interest in music.
2. She Pursued Significant Activities Independent Of Her Husband’s Work.
Aside from fulfilling the speaking engagements that her husband could not keep, Coretta served as a delegate for Women’s Strike for Peace at the Disarmament Conference that was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1962 and was attended by representatives of 17 countries. Also, she made use of her artistic talents by performing at the Freedom Concert, which featured music, poetry and readings about the civil rights movement. Proceeds from the program were contributed to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was headed by Dr. King himself.
3. She Became a Leader In Her Own Right.
Before a year without her husband has ended, Coretta announced plans for creating the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which, until now, serves as a library for scholars who want to peruse more than a million documents regarding the civil rights movement. The center also sponsors programs in voter registration and education, performing arts, literacy, early childhood education and college internships students from around the world who want to learn the effective means of non-violent social protest.
4. She Was Also a Singer.
As she went on to Lincoln High School, she encountered for the first time both black and white college-educated teachers. There, she started developing her musical talent and played the piano and trumpet, and sang in solo performances in school musicals and recitals. As her interest in music grew, she added violin to her repertoire of musical instruments and then sang in the Second Baptist Church choir in Springfield, Ohio, where she had her first solo concert in 1948.
5. Her Death Was Mourned All Over The World.
When Coretta died at 78 on January 31, 2006, many people around the world were sad about the news. Taking note of her passing, former US President George W. Bush stated on his annual State of the Union address, “Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman, who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream.”
As you can see, the life of Coretta Scott King is not only interesting, but also very inspiring. As former US President Bill Clinton stated to recall the way she carried on her work and to see her as inspiration, “If you want to treat our friend Coretta like a role model, then model her behavior. We can follow in her steps.”