In celebration of Black History Month, Sigma Upsilon Nu, SL Sorority would like to educate our peers on some of the worlds most powerful, creative, and fabulous women of African decent, who are also members of Greek-Letter Organizations.
Today, we would like to look back over the life of Coretta Scott King.
Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King often participated in many of her husband’s exploits and goals during the battle for African-American equality. King met the future civil rights leader while in college and the two quickly escalated to the center of the movement.
Mrs. King played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s 1968 assassination when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s Movement and the LGBT rights movement. King founded the King Center and sought to make his birthday a national holiday. King went through several procedures and was put down many times before in the mid-1980s, she finally succeeded with Ronald Reagan’s signing of the legislation legalizing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. She expanded her views to include opposition to apartheid and tried to establish homosexual rights as being part of her husband’s wishes.
King became friends with many politicians before and after her husband’s death, most notably John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy’s phone call to her during the 1960 election was what she liked to believe was behind his victory. In August 2005, King suffered a stroke and was left paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak. Five months later, King died of respiratory failure due to complications from ovarian cancer. King’s funeral was attended by four of five living U.S. Presidents and by over 10 million people. She was temporarily buried on the grounds of the King Center, until she was interred next to her husband.
Coretta received awards both for her and her husband during her lifetime and was awarded posthumously for her charismatic behavior towards human rights. King was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009. She was the first African-American to lie in Georgia State Capitol upon her death. King has been referred to as “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Coretta Scott King is an Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc.