Columbus Remembers Coretta Scott King

Columbus is remembering Coretta Scott King. The widow of civil rights leader Doctor Martin Luther King Junior died early this morning. She was 78. The Alabama Native and graduate of Ohio’s Antioch College will be remembered in for her quiet, impassioned allegiance to the cause of human rights. WOSU’s Sam Hendren reports

In an undated photograph on exhibit at the Martin Luther King Arts Complex in Columbus, a young civil rights leader and his wife Coretta smile as they watch two of their small children.

“We don’t often think of them as everyday people who just wanted a good life for their children. There with a hoola hoop, two of the children enjoying life,” says the King Center’s executive director Barbara Nicholson.

Nicholson says she met Coretta Scott King on several occasions. She describes her as dignified and graceful, whose appearance and bearing remained much the same throughout her adult life – even during the turbulent times that surrounded her husband’s assassination.

“She always left you with a sense that a very powerful but quiet, graceful person had walked into your life. She had such a dignity to her, says Nicholson.

Mrs. King spoke to an audience at Congregation Tifereth Israel in 2003.

“Let everyone who would be a champion of the fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s dream, become an advocate for the human rights of others, Mrs King said. She continued, “If we can build bridges of knowledge and understanding between peoples of all races and cultural groups, we will sew the seeds of greater unity and prosperity in America. The promotion of diversity opens the doors of opportunity to all groups. When this vision of unity is fulfilled throughout the nation, then the America of our noblest ideals will become a reality.”

The King Center’s Barbara Nicholson says Coretta Scott King’s legacy will continue.

“Now that she is no longer with us, we do not have to ask, Who is she handing the baton to?’ She accepted it from her husband and now it’s up to us to accept it from her. And it’s just that simple.”

The excerpt of Mrs. King’s speech was provided by Mills James Productions.