Martin Luther King Sr

Martin Luther King Sr. was born in 1899 in Stockbridge, GA. He and his wife Alberta had three children: Rev. A.D. King, who drowned mysteriously in 1969 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in 1968. His only surviving offspring is Christine Farris, a retired educator now residing in Atlanta. He was the most beloved pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta for 44 years and this was where Dr. King Jr. was funeralized. The senior King was a civil rights leader in his own right. He led voting rights drives in Atlanta in the 1930’s at a time when public protests were met by violence and sometimes death. In 1976 and 1980 he delivered the invocation at the Democratic National Conventions. Meeting Pastor King taught me a lesson about forgiveness that remains with me today. A white man murdered his son Dr. King and a black man murdered his wife Alberta on a Sunday morning as she played the piano at Ebenezer. I asked him did he hate either of the killers or both. He told me, “I will never stoop low enough to hate. Never. I don’t feel bitterness in my heart against anybody. You cannot stoop any lower than hate. I don’t let hate penetrate my heart.” From that day forward I have worked to follow his example. If after all he had lost and did not hate, I certainly could do the same. Pastor King died of a heart attack on November 11, 1984.

Read more about Martin Luther King Sr. in our exclusive interview only available in my book, And Still We Rise.

My Life, My Love, My Legacy: The Memoirs of Coretta Scott King

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Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women’s, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

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