Jefferson’s Blog: Women in History Spotlight-Coretta Scott King
Photo by Herman Hiller: New York World-Telegram & Sun
Hello Destination Pen Pals! Kids, parents and grandparents alike…It’s Jefferson Eagle! As I made my way through Alabama on a recent traveling adventure, I found a women in history that helped shape this great country. I ran into Scout, a Black Bear. She told me about this lady named Coretta Scott King. Coretta was born on April 27, 1927 in Heiberger, Alabama. Coretta and her siblings worked with their parents tilling and cultivating crops. That means they helped get the soil and land ready for planting crops and then grew and cared for them.
The Scotts were not a wealthy family, but they were a very close family whose social life revolved around Mount Tabor African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. When in college as an undergraduate, Coretta Scott observed racism in Yellow Springs and at Antioch. For the children out there, racism is when a group of people treats another group of people poorly because of the color of their skin, shared interests and/or religion or country of origin. It also means that people believe they are better or more important than other people based on those things. Don’t worry, this story doesn’t stay sad the whole time!
Scout spoke more about Coretta Scott King, explaining that these type of events, racism, are what inspired Coretta to become active in the student chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Race Relations Committee, and the Civil Liberties Committee. These groups have helped others fight racism and today in America, things are much better. Here is a little video interview to see what this courageous woman was all about!
New York World-Telegram and The Sun: Photo taken by Phil Stanziola, Staff Photographer
The joyous event of Coretta marrying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on June 18, 1953, brought the Kings to Montgomery, Alabama. Correta’s husband, Reverend King, was a big part of the Civil Rights Movement. That was a period of time in American history when people were working to get the same rights for all people, regardless of the color of their skin color, their gender or their religion. During Reverend King’s campaign for the civil rights movement, Coretta balanced her responsibilities at home and raising their four children, all while providing support to her husband. She marched alongside her husband, performed Freedom Concerts and conducted fundraisers to help the Civil Rights Movement.
Sadly, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a gunman on April 4, 1968. After her husband’s assassination, Coretta was tossed into being a single parent to four children. The day before Martin’s funeral, Coretta bravely took his place in a march with sanitation workers in Memphis to fight for fair and better working conditions for black sanitation workers. This event marked the start of her unwavering determination to continue the work of nonviolent social protest and to preserve her husband’s legacy. She wrote a book called, “My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.” (1969) and used this book as a way to outline the philosophy of nonviolence to protest unfair treatment and violations against civil rights.
Watch this video to see an interview with Coretta Scott King following the assassination of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King:
New York World-Telegram & Sun: Photo taken by Herman Hiller
I had to ask Scout some questions. I asked her, “What is this “nonviolence” and “How does it work?”. Scout told me that nonviolence is a way to help someone get further in their cause without hurting others. Hey kids! Did you know that nonviolence is used to show that folks can disagree and still come to an agreement on an issue without destroying property or harming others? Seems like a great way change things to me!
I knew that Scout was on to something with this nonviolence stuff so I just had to tell you about it. What a great story she had about Coretta Scott King. So, the next time you want to see things changed, just know there is a peaceful way to do it! Mrs. King is a great role model for all of us! This is just the tip of the iceberg. You should look up more information about this courageous woman in libraries, bookstores or online to feed your interest in non-violent protests, civil rights and some amazing American history. Be a peaceful maker of change like Coretta Scott King and her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!
America’s Original Destination Pen Pal
*Additional Information Videos about Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr.
New York World-Telegram and The Sun: Photo taken by Fernandez, Orlando, Staff Photographer
To learn about Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr. Biography
Jefferson Eagle, Blog Contributor
Jefferson Eagle is an America’s Destination Pen Pals blog contributor and Destination Pen Pal adventurer. He has become one of ADPP’s foremost experts on the culture and geography of the United States, The Constitution and America’s rich history. Jefferson Eagle currently travels the United States with his Pen Pal Buddies exploring America and teaching children about the traditions, history and culture which built this great nation.