Coretta Scott King - Wikipedia
Coretta's Marriage and Partnership with Martin. .. about Martin and Malcolm merely refer to Coretta and Betty in relation to their husbands, . interest in the broader issues of the day and a cosmopolitan perspective that. JUST MOMENTS after the news of Coretta Scott King's death, the first A special relationship outside his marriage sheds light on the civil. Another issue involves the relationship between Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Betty Shabazz (Blige), the widows of Martin Luther King Jr.
King, I want you to tell your husband that I had planned to visit him in jail here in Selma but I won't be able to do it now. I have to go back to New York, ah, because I, I have to attend a conference in Europe, an African student conference and I want you to say to him that I didn't come to Selma to make his job more difficult but I thought that if the White people understood what the alternative was that they would be more inclined to listen to your husband.
And so that's why I came. And I was naturally, ah, somewhat surprised because I didn't expect him to say that. I don't know what I expected. But he had such a gentle manner and he seemed very sincere and I kept thinking, ah, you know I kept thinking about what he had said and the way he had said it. And of course within about a couple weeks or more he was assassinated and it affected me very deeply because I had met him now and I felt that it was such a tragic loss because he had come around to understand better, I think, non-violence and, and my husband's position and would have been a, I think a force for reconciliation and healing because there was a great need I think between Blacks and Blacks, ah, for that kind of thing.
And I felt also that if he had lived, ah, particularly in the latter part of the '60s that he probably could have been a tremendous, ah, bridge, you know, in bringing Black Muslims and, and, other Black people, ah, in the Civil Rights Movement together. Ah, and, for days I had this pain almost like, this feeling in my chest, a feeling of depression, and, ah, just feeling as if, ah, I had lost someone very dear to me, and I, you know, I couldn't quite understand but then I began to realize, ah, I guess what an impact he had made on me in that very short period of time in knowing him.
King can you share with us some of the points of, of agreement and disagreement between your husband and Malcolm X? I think that Martin and Malcolm agreed, ah, in terms of the ultimate goal of the freedom struggle.
I don't think there was any difference there. I think it was basically one of strategy. Ah, my husband believed to accomplish the goal of freedom and justice and equality, ah, that, ah, it was necessary to use non-violent means. Ah, particularly in a society such as ours where we were 10 percent of the population. And, ah, he believed finally that non-violence was the only alternative that oppressed people had in, in this kind of a society. I think Malcolm felt that, ah, ah, people had a right to use any means necessary, even violence, ah, to achieve goals of their freedom.
And I think that was the basic difference, ah, Martin I don't think ever spoke, ah, ah, publicly against Malcolm in any form. I think Malcolm did against Martin unfortunately. But that was because Martin was committed to non-violence, and non-violence, ah, seeks not to humiliate or do, ah, ah, depersonalize human beings but to ennoble human beings, human personality.
But he never held that against him.
They, ah, I think they respected each other. Martin had the greatest respect for Malcolm and he agreed with him in, and, in terms of the feeling of racial pride and the fact that Black people should, ah, believe in themselves and see themselves as, as lovable and beautiful.
Ah, the fact that, ah, Martin had, had a strong feeling of connectiveness to Africa and so did Malcolm. Ah, I think if he had lived, ah, and if the two had lived, ah, I am sure that at some point they would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force in the total struggle for liberation and self determination of Black people in our society.
Now you've spoken about your feelings of Malcolm X's death. Do you recall any specific, um, um, comments or observations or feelings that your husband had on Malcolm's assassination?
Well, I'm, I'm, I am sure Martin had sim- similar feelings that I had, ah, I, I think when I first got the news, I wasn't near him so, you know, usually that's when you get these reactions. Ah, Martin, abhorred violence of any kind and particularly, ah, you know, assassinations of the leadership at all. Malcolm of course in '65 and, and, ah, Medgar Evers in '63 and in many ways it was, you know, it's like who was next?
Ah, and in '65 while we were in Selma, ah, that was a time when Martin received numerous threats and I really feel that he had felt that something was going to happen to him in Selma that he might be killed in Selma. Ah, as a matter of fact, ah, when we were in Oslo, Norway in December of '64, ah, he talked about the fact that when we went into Selma which we had planned to do the first of January in and did, ah, to begin the voting rights campaign that somebody was going to get killed.
And, ah, as we always did in the movement, we would, we would make jokes about these things. I mean, you know, this is the way, you, you kind of begin to accept the fact of the reality, ah, and he would say to people on the trip, "Well, you better have a good time and enjoy yourself because when we go to Selma somebody is going to get killed. So there was that strong feeling. And then as we were moving in Selma, you know, there was so many, many threats, ah, rumors of plots of his assassination that took place.
And having had Malcolm's assassination to come while he was at Selma, I'm sure it reminded him more of the possibility of his own fate, you know, that ultimate fate. We're back on January 26,South Hamlin Avenue, can you describe for us your new home as you walk into the building for the first time.
Well, first of all, as I walked up to the third floor and entered the building, first thing I noticed was a very strong smell of urine and, ah, you know, the smell was all over, it perm- permeated the whole apartment it seemed. When I got inside, the living room was of course the first thing I saw, it has a large dirty couch, ah, in the living room and the walls were very dirty. Ah, it was not the kind of place that you would want to live in. We had to get it fixed up.
I think it had to be, ah, repaired and all. But we had to look at it first to see whether this was what we wanted. And of course, we wanted something that was very typical of the way people had to live. And we found it. Ah, in other words the place was generally broken down, ah, nothing worked: Ah, but this was the kind of living that I'm sure most people in the area encounter daily.
Ah, I knew of course I didn't have to live there permanently so I could live there for that period of time and, ah, and be very comfortable and satisfied because it was for a purpose, it was for the cause, the sake of the cause. Ah, of course the place was fixed up a bit by the landlord when he found out that Martin Luther King, Jr. And, ah, even, ah, painting it up and, and getting some different furniture, ah, you know, still didn't improve it but so much, ah.
But one of the things that I, I realized, ah, living there, you begin to feel a sense of close identification with the people in the neighborhood.
They were, they were so happy to have us there. I mean they, they extended such a warm welcome. And, ah, you know we lived in the neighborhood where there were gangs and one of the, ah, one of the gangs, the, I think it was the, ah, Blackstone Rangers, ah, lived in that neighborhood. And of course they came and offered their protection. They said, "You don't need, Dr. King you don't need any police we can take care of you and we're going to take care of you so don't you worry about a thing.
King said, "Come in and have a seat. You don't mean that this cats been up there in Washington, eating with Presidents, eating filet mignon steak and here he's sitting down here eating barbecue just like me.
But it was, it was a great feeling you know, knowing that these people really cared and that they would, they would be there whatever we needed.
And we didn't want them to use any weapons or to be violent. But it was, we knew that they were not going to do anything to harm us but they would do everything they could to protect us. Now, when did your children come up and join you and how did you feel about raising children in a neighborhood like this? Well it was, ah, the summer of, I think in July when we brought the kids up and, ah, they came for a few weeks.
And we thought that it was important that they, ah, have this experience. But since Martin was away so much it was also a matter of just spending time together because he'd have to come back and forth to Atlanta.
So having the family there for that period and having the children experience this kind of living was very important and I remember, ah, I guess one of the hardest parts of the whole experience was when I would, ah, bathe the kids in the morning and get them dressed and they would go out in the back yard to play and the dirt was very dark, it was really Black dirt.
Ah, ah, it was, it apparently was mixed with, with coal or something, I don't know, but the dirt would stick on their clothes and so within a short period of time they would all be dirty as they could be all over again. And I kept thinking if the kids had to live this way, you know, all of their lives, what effect it would have on them and, and yet, you know, there were other children who knew no other life but this.
So the kids enjoyed playing in the dirt. And they enjoyed playing with their little playmates in the neighborhood. Of course we had supervision and all of that but it was a tremendously valuable experience I think for them, although they were very young. Ah, the other part of that experience was, we just happened to be there the night when, ah, the rioting, ah, started on that side of town. We were in that apartment and with the children and that was very scary for a while.
Because the children had no sense of the danger of, of, of a riot at all. And they thought it was funny to hear the guns popping and, and, and the shooting in the neighborhood. They didn't realize that they could be killed. Ah, and I was there in the apartment alone with the children trying to get them to, to calm down and to get them ready to go to bed.
What did you see in your own neighborhood as you looked out the window that night? Ah, some window, window panes in a store I think were shattered. There was some shooting into a, a store, and, ah, the children saw that, and, and of course, ah, that was when it first started.
Then later, ah, we looked out the kitchen window which was in the back part of the house and we saw, ah, people looting the grocery store. It was the strangest feeling to see people going into a store and picking up all the groceries, putting them in baskets and you knew they were stealing it out and, ah, of course we watched this for a while and all of a sudden we could hear someone said, "Police!
Betty & Coretta – Variety
I don't think they caught anybody. But this was the way it usually happened, ah, and this store was so close to our apartment we could have almost thrown a rock into it from our window. King, can you tell me what happened as you left Mahalia Jackson's to go to Shiloh Baptist for a rally that night. We were driving, ah, through the neighborhood, and all of a sudden we saw some children running away, ah, and the police chasing them, and, ah, we knew something was going on but we weren't sure what, ah, so as, as we continued to, to watch back and forth, ah, we realized that the children had been playing with the water hydrant and it turned the water on and the police turned it off.
It was a very hot day and, ah, this kind of thing going on and, ah, there had been some rock throwing and all. And we saw some of that. And so my husband, of course, always got very, ah, nervous when there was any kind of violence taking place because he knew what it could lead to more violence and, and, somebody, you know, can end up getting hurt or killed.
Ah, so we, as we moved along we realized that, you know, the, you know, the, the violence and the, all this was taking place, and, ah, it was spreading. Ah, so we finally went to the church and, ah, made some phone calls and we found out that some of the people had been arrested, a number of people had been arrested, and had been taken to, to various jails in their neighborhood.
So we found out where some of these were and we visited some of those jails that night. It seems like we stayed in the streets most of that night. Ah, it was very interesting, you know, with Mahalia being there because being the celebrity that she was, ah, and with Martin Luther King, Jr. And, ah, then that night of course we spent the night at Mahalia's, but we didn't get much sleep that night because, you know, it was a very uneasy night with all of this violence taking place. Martin, of course, and the SCLC staff, ah, you know, would be, of course, around in the street trying to do what they could to contain it.
Ah, SCLC had a very excellent staff and many of the staff had worked with some of the gang, ah, people. So they were able to, to communicate to some extent with them.
And I think they were able to, ah, to do something but they were not able to control it completely. Once violence starts, it's very difficult, you know, to control it. But it was a very frightening kind of thing because we knew it could spread. And of course they never did get the violence to subside. Ah, it went on throughout the night, throughout the day and the next night it had spread on the west side, where, that's where we were living, ah, on Hamlin Street.
And of course, ah, it went on for a few days as you know. But this was quite an experience, ah, I never thought that I would be in a situation, up to that point, ah, where, you know, there was a real riot.
But I was right in the middle of the riot really, ah, during that Chicago experience. Can you tell me about Bunny's first march. We had planned to not take Bunny because she was 3 years-old and we felt that because it was so hot, as a matter of fact, the hottest day of the year, ah, in July, July 10th that we would get a babysitter and leave them in the apartment.
We took her to the rally. My husband said after we got to the rally and she started, ah, asking if she could march. She said, "You know I want to march. When are we going to march? Mommy, when are we going to march? And finally Martin said, "Oh, let's take her. So all of the children, ah, and Bunny and Martin and myself and the whole, ah, crowd of, I don't know, thousands marched towards City Hall.
And as we marched toward City Hall, little Bunny, ah, got tired and, ah, Andy Young put her on his shoulders and he carried her for a large part of the distance. And of course I could see her head bobbing up and down as we walked along, on his shoulders. And we got to City Hall where Martin, ah, ah, nailed the demands on the door of City Hall, ah, which was, ah, the symbolism, ah, was very much like that of Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation, of, when he nailed his thesis on the door of Wittenberg.
And, ah, Bunny did not get to see City Hall because she was fast asleep. Ah, I certainly wish somehow that I could have a film of that or a photograph of it because it was very special since it was the first time that all of us had marched together.
King I understand that you took part in an unprecedented action in South Holden. Could you describe that for us? The Southern Christian Leadership, Leadership, excuse me. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference in an effort to dramatize the plight of poor people who lived in slum dwellings in Chicago actually took over some apartments and began to clean them up and to, of course collect the rent and, and to file complaints with the Housing Authority, ah, which of course, ah, ah, were acted upon.
And in that process Martin and I, and along with Al Raby, ah, got into work clothes, ah, and we got, ah, shovels and, and we began to, ah, you know, to, ah, lift up the garbage and put it into the cans because it was all around the apartment buildings, on the ground and every place, and clean up the place in general.
And, ah, this was, a, a, I think it was an important effort. And I remember it was very cold, ah, very cold day when we did this. Ah, but it was important to, to make that statement, I think, so that, ah, it was carried, you know, on the news and in the newspaper.
Ah, those conditions, ah, were not known certainly by a lot of people. They didn't know how badly, how poor, ah, how, how, I say it, how, ah, ah, how bad the slum conditions were for some people who had to live under those conditions and yet pay exorbitant rents for what they were getting.
And, ah, this was a part of this whole fair housing, ah, ah, thrust that began in Chicago that finally ended up in getting housing legislation, ah, in And this was of course after my husband's death.
Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige Talk ‘Betty & Coretta' | HuffPost
But I think that this effort eventually, ah, did pay, pay off but it took a long time. Now, could I just get, um, for our editing purposes, it would help if you could just give us a beginning to the story by describing how five families came to your house one night to ask for help.
Ah, we, ah, as I said, we, ah, took this apartment on Hamlet Street on the west side of Chicago. And, ah, one night, ah, well Martin was home in the apartment, five different families came to him and to ask for his help and they talked about, you know, the inhuman conditions under which they were living, ah, ah, the lack of proper sanitation, ah, the, ah, lack of extermination of, from rats and that kind of thing, ah, and they were very concerned that they had to continue to live this way.
And, of course, after Dr. King heard their, their pleas, and, ah, he wanted to try to help in some way. And, ah, inasmuch as he had come to Chicago for the purpose of addressing this problem. Ah, they decided then, after meeting with his staff people, ah, that, you know, one thing that could, could take place would be to, you know, just go in and, ah, and in the sense, ah, take over the buildings and start helping the people and running the apartments in the sense that, ah, people would no longer pay the rent to the landlords because the landlords were not doing anything to improve the conditions of the homes.
Did your husband feel constrained about coming out so publicly against the war before and if he did, how come? Yes, ah, I think it's important to realize that, that Martin for a long time, for many years, had really wanted to take a position, a strong position against the war. He had discussed it, ah, in the SCLC Board Meetings, with his colleagues, ah, and got reactions that, ah, were strongly opposed to him doing it because they felt like, you know, it was not connected with civil rights.
Most people felt that civil rights, ah, and the peace issue were two separate pieces. And Martin knew that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and as he said, "I've fought too long, ah, to, ah, against segregation, ah, to now end up segregating my moral concerns. Ah, and, and he felt that, you know, he had to make that connection for people. And it was event- eventually affecting, ah, you know, the whole climate in this country.
Because there were a series of, ah, of riots that were, that had broken out in various cities around the country between '65 and, ah, ' There had been quite a number. And, ah, so he felt that it was, there was a very direct connection.
I think he had come to a point where he felt as if he had, you know, no choice if he were, ah, going to be true to his own convictions and his own conscience, that he had to make a statement, he had to take, make a public stand against this, ah, very inhumane and unjust war as he said. Ah, he did not get the support from his colleagues or from any of his, ah, SCLC Board members that he would have liked.
As a matter of fact I think most of them went along but they didn't agree with him. And he finally decided that, ah, you know, he had to take this position. And on April 4th,ah, he made a far reaching statement at the Riverside Church in New York, ah, in which he, ah, he talked about the Vietnam conflict and why he was taking the position.
And, ah, shortly, very shortly there was condemnation from all quarters, both Black and White leaders across this country. It was a very agonizing period for him. Ah, because, ah, ah, you know, most of the people that he'd worked with, ah, leadership, for other organizations, made public statements, ah, against Martin Luther King, Jr--They felt that, ah, you know, he didn't know enough about foreign policy to speak about it, that he needed to stick to civil rights.
Ah, and of course, ah, ah, he knew he had made the right decision and he was willing, I think, to, to suffer whatever the consequences might be, even the loss of funds to his organization. He knew that was going to happen and it did. Ah, SCLC's contributions suddenly went way, way down and we had to take some special measures to try to solicit support from some of our peace friends.
Ah, I had been very much involved in the peace movement. He had encouraged me to be active since Ah, I had been the family spokesperson on the peace issues, having gone to the, ah, the, the Disarmament Conference, the Seventeen Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva in as one of 50 American housewives. And from that point on, ah, appeared in rallies and marches, ah, between Washington and New York, ah, through up untilwhen he took his position.
And I think his feeling was that if I was speaking out on the peace issue, then, ah, at least there was a King person, family person, who is, ah, who is, ah, you know, speaking to the issue. And somehow he, he felt a little bit more comfortable with my doing it and his not doing it but not really totally comfortable and totally relieved, and he said, as he said, he was the happiest person in all the world when he could finally come to a point where he could publicly, ah, make a far reaching statement against the war and condemn it.
And, ah, that was the time when he felt, I think, in his own conscience, that he had done what he knew was right to do. King, I would like to have you give us a sense of the anguish that your husband went through. And then, as I said, if you could also wrap up by telling us about the phone call from Whitney Young.
Martin agonized really over the decision of whether he should come out sooner than he did. I mean over those several years, I remember the, right after the Nobel Peace Prize, ah, in in December and in the early part of '65 he made a statement, a fairly strong statement. And of course the press, ah, noticed it and, ah, sort of attacked him about the statement.
And, ah, he, ah, he began to, I guess kind of weigh his, his words. But at that time, he, ah, conferred with his Board and because he said that it would affect very directly SCLC and the work that he was doing, ah, in terms of the support that he was getting. Because people who were with me on civil rights will not be with me on this issue, and we have to count those costs. And all I want you to do is to allow me to make the statement as an individual, not on behalf of the organization.
And, ah, now of course, he had the right to do that, ah, on his own but there was no way you could, the press would make that distinction or the people would make that distinction.
Therefore he had to prepare them for what, ah, were, were real consequences. And, he, I think, always understood that. But it was very difficult for him because he really felt very strongly from the very beginning on this whole issue of war and, ah, the Vietnam war especially because he had studied the, ah, conflict, ah, studied back in the, ah, '40s and he was able to, ah, to see the development of, of the United States getting more involved and, and how all that happened and why, you know, we didn't have to get that involved.
And then he could see the in- injustice of it all and how it was affecting, ah, the country domestically and how the people who were the poorest people in this country were more directly affected by it. Ah, and I remember when he, ah, ah, continued to, ah, you know, to feel that, you know, as a person of conscience he, he needed to come forth and make the statement. And it was like, you know, I, whatever the risk is, you know, I must take it now, ah, because it's the right thing to do.
And, he finally, of course did take the position, as I said, and, ah, he, ah, was, ah, attacked by many of his colleagues. And I remember one day when he was home, ah, he had been traveling for a few days and he happened to be home that day. And in the morning of that day he started, ah, talking about the fact that he was very disappointed in Whitney Young's comments and, ah, Whitney had made some very negative comments about his statement and he said, "I can understand the older leaders like Roy Wilkins and others but I don't understand Whitney.
He's a younger man. So I said to him, "Well, Martin, if you feel that way, why don't you pick up the telephone and call Whitney. Because, ah, whenever, whenever, ah, ah, you feel like that I think it's the right thing to do and you normally would do this. Why don't you just go ahead and do it? So he said, "I believe I will. They talked for an hour and I heard him rehearsing the history of the Vietnam conflict, starting back in the '40s and going on up to the present time.
And I could tell that Whitney was saying "Well, Martin, you understand this. You know that history. I didn't know that. And I heard him saying, you know, as he was talking for a long time.
And I was the happiest person in the world when I could come out and take a position on, against that evil and unjust war. The fact is that nothing changed in terms of the reality of the reaction against him. Ah, it was a very, very agonizing experience, ah, because he knew that he was right on this issue.
Ah, and of course history has borne him out on that, ah, and I think it was the timing was right. It was, ah, something that took a lot of courage, ah, to do. Ah, but I think that the fact that he took that position, ah, put him in, ah, put him in, I think, in, into a, a relationship in history, I believe, that, ah, you know, that few people stand in because there are times in your life when you, when you have to make those difficult decisions which can cost you the ultimate sacrifice.
King had issued her own statement regarding the aid of the president instead of doing as her husband had told her and report to Wyatt Walkerthis according to author Taylor Branchmade her portrayed by reports as "an anxious new mother who may have confused her White House fantasies with reality. The march was timed to celebrate the group's second anniversary and celebrated the successful completion of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Coretta and Martin learned of John F. Kennedy's assassination when reports initially indicated he had only been seriously wounded. King joined her husband upstairs and watched Walter Cronkite announce the president's death. King sat with her visibly shaken husband following the confirmation. The FBI learned that King would be out of office by the time the tapes were mailed and that his wife would be the one to open it.
Edgar Hoover even advised to mail "it from a southern state. King would say "I couldn't make much out of it, it was just a lot of mumbo-jumbo. Edgar Hoover to denounce King by revelations in his personal life.
Johnson presidency[ edit ] Most prominently, perhaps, she worked hard to pass the Civil Rights Act of King spoke with Malcolm X days before his assassination. Malcolm X told her that he was not in Alabama to make trouble for her husband, but instead to make white people have more appreciation for King's protests, seeing his alternative.
Her father "caught a glimpse of America's true potential" and for the called it "the greatest day in the whole history of America" after seeing chanting for his daughter's husband by both Caucasians and African Americans. By and large, men have formed the leadership in the civil rights struggle but In honor of the first woman elected to the House of Representatives, the group was called the Jeannette Rankin Brigade.
Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. She learned of the shooting after being called by Jesse Jackson when she returned from shopping with her eldest child Yolanda. She received a large number of telegrams, including one from Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, which she regarded as the one that touched her the most. Senator Robert Kennedy ordered three more telephones to be installed in the King residence for King and her family to be able to answer the flood of calls they received and offered a plane to transport her to Memphis.
King was told to not go ahead and agree to Kennedy's offer by Southern Christian Leadership Conference members, who told her about his presidential ambitions. She ignored the warnings and went along with his request. Nixon also went to Martin Luther King, Jr. Nixon believed participating in the procession would be "grandstanding. After the marchers reached the staging area at the Civic Center Plaza in front of Memphis City Hall, onlookers proceeded to take pictures of King and her children but stopped when she addressed everyone at a microphone.
She said that despite the Martin Luther King Jr. The two spent five minutes together and despite the short visit, Coretta called it comforting. King's parents arrived from Alabama. She said her husband told their children, "If a man had nothing that was worth dying for, then he was not fit to live.
- 'I am not a symbol, I am an activist': the untold story of Coretta Scott King
- Betty & Coretta
- Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige Talk ‘Betty & Coretta'
Using notes he had written before his death, King constructed her own speech. Baker declined after thinking it over, stating that her twelve adopted children known as the "rainbow tribe" were " Coretta Scott King eventually broadened her focus to include women's rightsLGBT rightseconomic issues, world peace, and various other causes.
As early as Decembershe called for women to "unite and form a solid block of women power to fight the three great evils of racismpoverty and war ", during a Solidarity Day speech. King made it clear that there was no reason "why a nation as rich as ours should be blighted by poverty, disease, and illiteracy. After he died the following day, Ethel Kennedy, who King had spoken to with her husband only two months earlier, was widowed. King flew to Los Angeles to comfort Ethel over Bobby's death.
She introduced her family to Wallace and also expressed her belief that there would not be another Martin Luther King Jr. She furthered that she believed her children needed her more than ever and that there was hope for redemption in her husband's death. King became the first non-Italian to receive the award. King traveled to London with her sister, sister-in-law, Bernita and several others to preach at St.
Before, no woman had ever delivered a sermon at a regularly appointed service in the cathedral. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. She served as the center's president and CEO from its inception until she passed the reins of leadership to son Dexter Scott King.
Removing herself from leadership, allowed her to focus on writing, public speaking and spend time with her parents. President Richard Nixon was advised against visiting her on the first anniversary of his death since it would "outrage" many people. Her husband's activities had been monitored during his lifetime. Documents obtained by a HoustonTexas television station show that the FBI worried that Coretta Scott King would "tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement.
King attending the Democratic National Convention Every year after the assassination of her husband inCoretta attended a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to mark his birthday on January She fought for years to make it a national holiday.
Inshe said that there should be at least one national holiday a year in tribute to an African-American man, "and, at this point, Martin is the best candidate we have. Silver, an Atlanta attorney, made the appeal at the services on January 14, Coretta Scott King later confirmed that it was the " Day was made a federal holiday. After the death of J. Edgar Hoover, King made no attempt to hide her bitterness towards him for his work against her husband in a long statement.
Johnson inas a very close friend of the former president. On July 25,King held a press conference in defense of then-Ambassador Andrew Young and his controversial statement on political prisoners in American jails. Johnson ranch to meet with Lady Bird Johnson. Day by President Ronald Reagan on November 2, On August 26,King resented endorsing Jesse Jackson for president, since she wanted to back up someone she believed could beat Ronald Reaganand dismissed her husband becoming a presidential candidate had he lived.
Day, she was at the event. Reagan called her to personally apologize for a remark he made during a nationally televised conference, where he said we would know in "35 years" whether or not King was a communist sympathizer. Reagan clarified his remarks came from the fact that the papers had been sealed off until the year Oprah Winfrey tried to find out why the "community has not allowed black people to live there since King tried to not get involved in the controversy around the naming of the San Diego Convention Center after her husband.
She maintained it was up to the "people within the community" and that people had tried to get her involved in with "those kind of local situations. In retaliation, she suggested peace protests. Sessions for having the FBI "turn its back on the abuses of the Hoover era. King defended her, saying at Riverside Church in Harlem that federal prosecutors targeted her to tarnish her father Malcolm X 's legacy.
Simpson murder casewhich she negated having a long-term effect on relations between races when speaking to an audience at Soka University in Calabasas. She called for everyone to "pick up the torch of freedom and lead America towards another great revolution.
During the s, King was subject to multiple break-ins and encountered Lyndon Fitzgerald Pace, a man who admitted killing women in the area. He broke into the house in the middle of the night and found her while she was sitting in her bed. After nearly eight years of staying in the home following the encounter, King moved to a condominium unit which had also been the home, albeit part-time, for singers Elton John and Janet Jackson.
Regarding plans to construct a monument for her husband in Washington, D. King had a day trip to South Africa in September Botha and Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi. Prior to leaving the United States for the meeting, King drew comparisons between the civil rights movement and Mandela's case. Peacemaking[ edit ] Coretta Scott King was a long-time advocate for world peace.
Author Michael Eric Dyson has called her "an earlier and more devoted pacifist than her husband. In August, in Washington, D.
Hardwick that there was no constitutional right to engage in consensual sodomy, King's longtime friend, Winston Johnson of Atlanta, came out to her and was instrumental in arranging King as the featured speaker at the September 27, New York Gala of the Human Rights Campaign Fund. As reported in the New York NativeKing stated that she was there to express her solidarity with the gay and lesbian movement.
She applauded gays and lesbians as having "always been a part of the civil rights movement. I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr. King had a group of supporters begin gathering her husband's papers inthe year before his death. She sanctioned the kit, which contained a wall poster, five photographs of King and his family, a cassette of the I Have a Dream speech, a booklet of tips on how to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and five postcards with quotations from King himself.
She believed it to be the authentic way to celebrate the holiday honoring her husband, and denied Hosea's claims. However, her husband was held to his word by the university; he had stated after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in that his papers would be kept at the college.
Coretta's lawyers argued that the statement was not binding and mentioned that King had not left a will at the time of his death. Silber in a meeting demanded that she send the university all of her husband's documents instead of the other way around. King wanted the south to be the repository of the bulk of his papers. Now that the King Center library and archives are complete and have one of the finest civil-rights collections in all the world, it is time for the papers to be returned home.
Bush laid a wreath at the tomb of her husband and met with and was greeted by King at the center. King praised Bush's support for the holiday, and joined hands with him at the end of a ceremony and sang " We Shall Overcome.
King, however, said her husband had changed his mind about allowing Boston University to keep the papers. Her husband's former secretary, Dora McDonald, assisted her part-time in this period. Later, she suffered several small strokes.
On August 16,she was hospitalized after suffering a stroke and a mild heart attack. Initially, she was unable to speak or move her right side. King's daughter Bernice reported that she had been able to move her leg on Sunday, August 21  while her other daughter and oldest child Yolanda asserted that the family expected her to fully recover.
Due to continuing health problems, King canceled a number of speaking and traveling engagements throughout the remainder of On January 14,Coretta made her last public appearance in Atlanta at a dinner honoring her husband's memory.
On January 26,King checked into a rehabilitation center in Rosarito BeachMexico under a different name.