Who is Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott met her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., while the two were both students in Boston, Massachusetts. She worked side by side with King as he became a leader of the civil rights movement, establishing her own distinguished career as an activist. Following her husband’s assassination in 1968, Coretta founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and later successfully lobbied for his birthday to recognized as a federal holiday. She died of complications from ovarian cancer in 2006, at age 78.
Coretta Scott was born on April 27, 1927, in Marion, Alabama. In the early decades of her life, Coretta was as well known for her singing and violin playing as her civil rights activism. She attended Lincoln High School, graduating as the school’s valedictorian in 1945, and then enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in music and education in 1951.
Coretta Scott King Quotes
1. My story is a freedom song from within my soul. It is a guide to discovery, a vision of how even the worst pain and heartaches can be channeled into human monuments, impenetrable and everlasting.
2. Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.
3. Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.
4. Mr. Sessions’ conduct as a U.S. Attorney, from his politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicated that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge.
5. There is no reason why a nation as rich as ours should be blighted by poverty, disease, and illiteracy.
6. I think if people really read Martin Luther King, Jr., then they would begin to understand what he really represented.
7. Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world.
8. I always knew that I was called to do something. I didn’t know what, but I finally rationalized after I met Martin – and it took a lot of praying to discover this – that this was probably what God had called me to do: to marry him.
9. It is plain that we don’t care about our poor people except to exploit them as cheap labor and victimize them through excessive rents and consumer prices.
10. Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.
11. If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.
12. Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.
13. Mama and Daddy King represent the best in manhood and womanhood, the best in a marriage, the kind of people we are trying to become.
14. Nelson Mandela sat in a South African prison for 27 years. He was nonviolent. He negotiated his way out of jail. His honor and suffering of 27 years in a South African prison is really ultimately what brought about the freedom of South Africa. That is nonviolence.
15. Our Congress passes laws which subsidize corporation farms, oil companies, airlines, and houses for suburbia. But when they turn their attention to the poor, they suddenly become concerned about balancing the budget and cut back on the funds for Head Start, Medicare, and mental health appropriations.
16. Particularly in the South, efforts continue to be made to deny blacks access to the polls, even where blacks constitute the majority of the voters.
17. I’m fulfilled in what I do. I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes – the finer things of life – would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense.
18. Segregation was wrong when it was forced by white people, and I believe it is still wrong when it is requested by black people.
19. Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.
20. The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the task of remaking our society.
21. Revenge and retaliation always perpetuate the cycle of anger, fear and violence.
22. Thank God we have the example of Martin Luther King, Jr. People need role models. They need to see examples of people in peoples’ lives, and that’s why it’s so important not just to commemorate his life, but to study and try to live by the principles of that life.
23. The Voting Rights Act was, and still is, vitally important to the future of democracy in the United States.
24. Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.
25. There is a spirit and a need and a man at the beginning of every great human advance. Every one of these must be right for that particular moment of history, or nothing happens.
26. I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.
27. We can prevent many people from becoming terrorists by truly listening to people who feel they’ve been treated unjustly and responding to their concerns with a sense of justice and compassion.
28. You cannot have peaceful means – peaceful means will have to be used to bring about peaceful ends. If you use destructive means, you’re going to bring about destructive ends.
29. You have to have people who prick the consciences of the nation.
30. We should not forget that in the ’60s, George Wallace’s motto was ‘segregation forever,’ and that he did nothing to deter bombings and other acts of violence and, by his actions, condoned them.
31. As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses… An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation.
32. What most did not understand then was that I was not only married to the man I loved, but I was also married to the movement that I loved.
33. I can’t help but believe that at some time in the not-too-distant future, there is going to be another movement to change these systemic conditions of poverty, injustice, and violence in people’s lives. That is where we’ve got to go, and it is going to be a struggle.
34. Marrying Martin and the movement perfected my journey of discovery, soothed my yearning to pour out the values and vision within my soul.
35. I feel George Wallace symbolizes something in the past which America has rejected.
36. While not a panacea for the nation’s illegal immigration problems, employer sanctions are one necessary means of stopping the exploitation of vulnerable workers and the undercutting of American jobs and living standards.
37. If you use weapons of war to bring about peace, you’re going to have more war and destruction.
38. I don’t see how you can separate human rights and the rights of all people, no matter what their sexual orientation is.
39. I believe that women know if their husbands are unfaithful. They feel it.
40. On Thanksgiving Night, 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground.
41. During the bus boycott, I was tested by fire, and I came to understand that I was not a breakable crystal figurine.
42. Wherever there was injustice, war, discrimination against women, gays and the disadvantaged, I did my best to show up and exert moral persuasion.
43. My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self.
44. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life.
45. I suppose I experienced the personal dilemma that baffles every working woman. What happens when you are expected to be Superwoman, to perform a dozen conflicting tasks at the same time?
46. Nonviolence would work today, it would work 2,000 years from now, it would work 5,000 years from now.
47. Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union.
48. I think that… discrimination in the job market is a very important area where work needs to be done.
49. In the area of economic justice, we still have a long way to go. We have too many people who are discriminated against just because they happen to be black or they happen to be a woman or some other minority.
50. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing to protect traditional marriages.
51. A vote for George Wallace is a vote for the past and oppression.
52. Like Gandhi, my husband had struggled with the issue of materialism.
53. When fear rushed in, I learned how to hear my heart racing but refused to allow my feelings to sway me. That resilience came from my family. It flowed through our bloodline.
54. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting.
55. The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense.
56. Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else.
57. People don’t ever have to starve to death; there are solutions. We have failed if we can’t eradicate hunger in Africa and Ethiopia.
58. Non-violence is a permanent attitude we bring to the breakfast table and bring to bed at night.
59. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to live his life serving others.
60. Before I was married to Martin and became a King, I was a proud Scott, shaped by my mother’s discernment and my father’s strength.