Coretta Scott King

Civil rights activist


April 27, 1927 in Heiberger, Alabama, United States

Death Date

January 30, 2006 in Rosarito, Mexico

Cause of Death

On January 31, 2006, King passed away in her sleep. She was 78 and had been in failing health since suffering a stroke and heart attack in August of 2005

Early Life

The Scotts valued education and sent their children to private school in Marion.She developed an early love for music.Coretta Scott was born on April 27, 1927, in Marion, Alabama, into a family that had owned land since the Civil War. Her parents, Obadiah and Bernice Scott, were truck farmers. Even though the Scotts were better off financially than most blacks in the area, life for them and their three children was difficult. Scott, along with her mother and sister, tended the family garden and crops, fed the chickens and hogs, and milked the cows. She helped supplement the family income by hiring out to hoe and pick cotton.Coretta Scott entered the New England Conservatory of Music to study voice.

Getting involved

Coretta Scott King became an activist and popular public figure, continuing her husband's nonviolent battles against racism, poverty, and war. In a speech on Solidarity Day, 1968, she encouraged American women to "unite and form a solid block of woman power." King devoted most of her energies to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change in Atlanta, set on a career in music Reverend Jesse Jackson's "Operation Breadbasket" program.She gained an international reputation as an advocate of civil rights, nonviolence, international peace, full employment, and equal rights for women.King supported civil rights and freedom for people all over the world.King spoke out in support of the right of same-sex couples to marry.
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In Her words

After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, Coretta Scott King continued to serve the civil rights movement. Coretta Scott King for kept Dr. King's dream alive.


In her honor, the American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table each year recognizes distinguished contributions to children's literature by awarding its Coretta Scott King Award to deserving African-Americans.

A television biography, Betty and Coretta, aired in 2013. The film depicted the lives of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcom X, as they coped with their lives after their husbands had been assassinated. The film took the third place Humanitas Prize and was nominated for several other awards.

Further Readings

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Words for Her

The world is better because of Coretta Scott King. She affected countless lives and her voice will be deeply missed, especially by those who carry on her incredible undertaking.

Alcee Hastings
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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.

Coretta Scott King
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Annotated Bibliography

1.Contemporary Authors Online is a great source. The source is very informative.

2.The Encyclopedia of World Biography is a good source .It is very convenient when, finding information about people.

3.I chose Historic World Leaders as a source. Historic World Leaders is very informative about Coretta Scott King's Early Life.


It is very informative about her life. It talks about what others thought about her.

5"Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King and Myles Horton sing while Parks has a room in the Martin Luther..." Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006.

Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

6."Coretta Scott King." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

It describes her childhood.It also describes her college experience.

7."Coretta Scott King." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

It talks about society after her death. I also lists her numerous awards.

8."President Ronald Reagan signs a bill making Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday a national holiday,..." Immigration and Multiculturalism: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner.

9.Detroit: Gale, 2006. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

It shows how much she loved her husband. It also shows her determination.

Historic World LeadersBiography in Context

11.Coretta Scott King." Notable Black American Women. Gale, 1992. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

It expresses how she changed society. It says what she did after Martin Luther King.

12."Coretta Scott King." Almanac of Famous People. Gale, 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

13. Rice, Bradley R. "King, Coretta Scott." The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Ed. Arnold Markoe, Karen Markoe, and Kenneth T. Jackson. Vol. 8: 2006-2008. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2010. 265-268. Biography in Context. Web. 6 May 2016.

I chose this source because it describes in detail why she continued being a Civil Rights Activist. It also talks about her parents.

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Choices and results

King is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dag Hammarskjold Award, 1969; the UAW Social Justice Award, 1980; and the Eugene V. Debs award, 1982. She has been awarded more than 40 honorary degrees by academic institutions. She is the author of three books, and writes a nationally syndicated column. She also served as the head of the delegation of the "Women for a Meaningful Summit" in Athens, Greece, and the "Soviet-American Women's Summit" in Washington, D.C., in anticipation of the Reagan-Gorbachov talks.
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