Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott were married on June 18, 1953, and in September 1954 took up residence in Montgomery, Alabama, with Coretta Scott King assuming the many responsibilities of pastor’s wife at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
During Dr. King’s career, Mrs. King devoted most of her time to raising their four children: Yolanda Denise (1955), Martin Luther, III (1957), Dexter Scott (1961), and Bernice Albertine (1963). From the earliest days, however, she balanced mothering and Movement work, speaking before church, civic, college, fraternal and peace groups. She conceived and performed a series of favorably-reviewed Freedom Concerts which combined prose and poetry narration with musical selections and functioned as significant fundraisers for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the direct action organization of which Dr. King served as first president. In 1957, she and Dr. King journeyed to Ghana to mark that country’s independence. In 1958, they spent a belated honeymoon in Mexico, where they observed first-hand the immense gulf between extreme wealth and extreme poverty. In 1959, Dr. and Mrs. King spent nearly a month in India on a pilgrimage to disciples and sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi. In 1964, she accompanied him to Oslo, Norway, where he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Even prior to her husband’s public stand against the Vietnam War in 1967, Mrs. King functioned as liaison to peace and justice organizations, and as mediator to public officials on behalf of the unheard.
After her husband’s assassination in 1968, Mrs. King founded and devoted great energy and commitment to building and developing programs for the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband’s life and dream.
Today, I honor both Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King for their work and service for all mankind. THANK YOU, DR. KING!