News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Coretta King deserves own place in history

If the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. had prevailed in plotting his son's future, there might never have been the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in the civil rights leader's future.

Daddy King wanted his son to return from Boston and take up the ministry in a large urban church, perhaps as an assistant.

But he had married Coretta Scott of Marion in Perry County and together they decided he would return to her home state. It was from Montgomery's Dexter Avenue church that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. launched his crusade and where much of the black community kept the city bus boycott going.

How much influence Mrs. King had on the couple moving to Montgomery is conjecture, but she, no doubt, influenced their decision.

From those early days, she stood by his side as her husband fought long-held customs and discrimination in the South.

As Ernestine Robinson of Moulton said, Mrs. King carried out her role in the movement quietly, with compassion and dignity.

Her life was not easy. She gave and gave to help establish equality and to give black Americans a greater sense of self worth. Her death Tuesday at age 78 closes another chapter in the great struggle.

"America lost a great woman," said Ms. Robinson, who marched with the Kings.

Most people who saw her in a more public role after her husband's death in 1968 remember her, too, as a great lady.

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