One would assume that any woman who was married to such an inspirational man as Martin Luther King Jr. would automatically be amazing, and this is true; however, “amazing” does not even begin to encompass Coretta Scott King. At the lecture I attended Thursday night, I learned so much about her life and what a truly astounding lady she was. Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall of Spellman University’s lecture entitled “Revisioning the Life of Coretta Scott King” was an event I’m so glad I attended.
There was so much about Coretta that I learned and hadn’t known before, but the most surprising aspect of her life I was unaware of was her role as an activist on behalf of the LGBTQ community. She stressed the idea of “sisterhood and brotherhood of all people,” and her intention was never to quit after speaking out on civil rights for African Americans. She boldly declared that homophobia is no different than racism in its ugly shade of hateful believers. At a time when fighting on behalf of African Americans was considered “out there,” to support that in addition to LGBTQ rights was largely unheard of. Her courage to assert her beliefs is truly remarkable, and I fear that I would not have the courage as she had to speak out during such a time of turmoil in the U.S.
After the death of her husband, Coretta continued to give speeches and work as both an outspoken protester and activist. She passed away January 30th, 2006 (Wikipedia.org).
This event was part of the MLK Symposium this year, honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and highlighting the issues he stood for. So often in middle school and high school, we’d spend the days leading up to MLK day watching cheesy videos that came across as fictional and insincere. I think the way MLK day is celebrated at our university here is a great way to truly honor such a memorable man and his aspirations for a better world, defeating the hatred that still exists even today. Going to this lecture was a great way to stay aware of the legacy that was left behind by those bolder than me, and I’m really glad I attended.