Coretta Scott King kept her husband’s dream alive

by on January 16th, 2018

Who tells your story? For Martin Luther King, Jr., it was his wife Coretta Scott King. I was reminded of this by a tweet on Twitter from one of King’s children:

The reason we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s life is due to Mrs. King who continued to advocate for civil rights, even after her husband’s assassination. It’s easy to forget that while we need leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., we also need those who tell their stories and carry on their ideas. Mrs. King devoted her life to telling her husband’s story and became a leader herself, championing the work to promote equality.

It was her commitment to keeping her husband’s mission alive that made her an ideal candidate for a book award for those who also promote Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream through their work. To honor Mrs. King and her husband’s commitment to making the world a better place, two school librarians – Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer – initiated a book award in 1969 to highlight outstanding African American authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult stories that “demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values” (The History of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards). The awards continue to be given annually.

Coretta Scott King Book Award Seal

Look for the Coretta Scott King Book Award Seal on books in the children’s section.

So while yesterday we celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., we also should honor and thank his wife for persisting to ensure he was remembered.

Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., head-and-shoulders portrait

Portrait of Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr.
See more images from the Library of Congress of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Other resources:

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