Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King is a civil rights activist. Coretta was born on April 27, 1929 in Marion, Alabama in a Perry County. Her parents were truck farmers. They had a difficult life living with three children. Coretta and her sisters helped their mother by working around the farm. Coretta made money by working for neighbors hoeing and picking cotton. During Coretta's school years she had to walk about 6 miles to school and 6 miles back from school, while white children were bused to and from school. Coretta felt that the six grades at the elementary school "did not do much to prepare" her, Coretta Scott went to Lincoln High School in Marion, Alabama. At Lincoln she became interested in music. She decided music would be her career. In 1945 Coretta graduated from Lincoln High School and won a partial scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Coretta thought things in the north would be different. She was surprised that there was just as much discrimination as there was in the south. Coretta then went to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It was there that she met Martin Luther King, Jr. They fell in love and were married on June 18, 1953. Martin was a minister and that meant that Coretta would be giving up her career as a performing concert artist. Martin became the minister at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Coretta and Martin became important leaders in the Civil Right Movement. The both gave speeches to convince people that blacks and whites are equal. On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a very sad day for the whole country. Coretta continued to speak out after her husbands death and continued his work. She wrote a book called "My Life with Martin Luther King Jr.  The Kings had three children. The Coretta Scott King Award is given every year by the American Library Association. It is given to an African American author and an African American Illustrator for an outstanding inspirational and educational book published that year.

Image purchased from Corbis

1999, by Sonia and Liane, third grade