20 Interesting Facts About Coretta Scott King

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20 Interesting Facts About Coretta Scott King

20 Interesting Facts About Coretta Scott King

They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and there aren’t many men greater than Martin Luther King Jr. So in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I thought it would nice to bring Coretta Scott King to light and share some of the wonderful things she did with her husband and what she accomplished after his unfortunate death.

The Kings

  • Coretta’s great-grandmother was the midwife at her birth; she was also a former slave.
  • Coretta’s father, Obie, was the first black man to own a truck in the neighborhood.
  • At just ten years old Coretta started working to help her family financially. She and her siblings also picked cotton during The Great Depression to earn extra money.
  • Coretta is dependent from the Mende people of Sierra Leone.
  • During her time in high school, Coretta became the leading soprano in her senior chorus.
  • In 1945,  Coretta graduated valedictorian from Lincoln Normal School.
  • After winning a scholarship, Coretta transferred to the New England Conservator of Music in Boston. She would eventually meet Martin Luther King Jr. while attending the school.
  • When Coretta first met King he told her that she had everything he was looking for and wanted a wife. They started dating in early 1952 and in 1953 the two announced their engagement on Valentine’s Day.
  • Coretta insisted that the traditional vow “to obey” her husband be removed from their ceremony.
  • Though she loved it, she gave up her dream to become a classical singer to join in with her husband and the civil rights movement.
  • On January 30th, 1956 the King family home was bombed when a brick was thrown onto the porch. Coretta and her daughter, Yolanda, were unharmed and when Coretta’s father insisted she leave Montgomery and go back to Atlanta. She refused.

The Kings 2

  • After MLK was assassinated, Coretta received tons of letters and telegrams but none was held more important than the one she received from Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother.
  • Coretta took an interest in LGBT and women’s rights following her husband’s death.
  • On April 27th, 1968 Coretta spoke at an anti-war protest in place of her husband. She read from notes that had been taken from MLK after he died.
  • Coretta Scott King was the first non-Italian to win the Universal Love Award in Verona, Italy.
  • She also became the first woman to preach at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England.
  • Coretta worked for years to make her husband’s birthday, January 15th into a holiday. It wasn’t until 1986 that she succeeded in making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday, though it always occurs on the 3rd Monday of January.
  • Throughout the 1990s, her home was broken into multiple times. During on break-in, she came face to face with Lyndon Fitzgerald Pace, who had killed several women in the area.
  • As an early supporter of gay and lesbian rights, she gave a speech in 2003 at the 13th annual Creating Change Conference, which was organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • She converted to veganism for the last ten years of her life.

Coretta mlk funeral


Related topics civil rights, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK
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